A court in Mumbai on Saturday directed the police to investigate a criminal defamation complaint filed by lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar against actor Kangana Ranaut over her comments about him in a TV interview in July, Bar and Bench reported.

Akhtar’s lawyer Niranjan Mundargi told Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan that Ranaut unnecessarily dragged the lyricist’s name in an interview with Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, while speaking about the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

The lawyer added that Ranaut falsely accused Akhtar of being a part of a Bollywood “suicide gang” that could “get away with anything”.

Mundargi also told the court that Akhtar had been getting hate messages due to Ranaut’s comments, The Indian Express reported. After hearing his arguments, the court directed the Juhu police station to submit its investigation report by January 16.

Also read: Javed Akhtar files defamation case against Kangana Ranaut over comments on Sushant Singh’s death

Akhtar had filed the complaint against Ranaut in November, accusing her trying to tarnish his reputation. He added that Ranaut’s comments had caused “irreparable damage” to him.

Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14, in what the police initially said appeared to be a case of suicide. Since his death, an acrimonious back-and-forth had started between Ranaut and the Shiv Sena led-Maharashtra government. She had criticised the handling of the Rajput’s death case by the Mumbai Police and said she didn’t feel safe in the city. The matter escalated when she compared Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The Centre provided Ranaut Y-Plus security cover amid the fracas.