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Kangana vs Javed Akhtar case: Court rejects Ranaut's plea seeking transfer of defamation case

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Mumbai, Mar 17: A sessions court here while rejecting Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut's plea seeking transfer of the defamation case against her, has held that there was no material to indicate that the metropolitan magistrate had acted without "fairness" or had any biases against her.

Kangana vs Javed Akhtar case: Court rejects Ranauts plea seeking transfer of defamation case

The actor had filed a plea seeking that a criminal defamation case filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar be transferred from the Andheri metropolitan magistrate to any other court.
The sessions court also refused to transfer her cross-complaint filed against Akhtar before the Andheri court. Both pleas filed by Ranaut were rejected by the second additional principal and sessions judge (Dindoshi) S S Oza on March 9.

The detailed order was available on Thursday. While rejecting the plea, the court held that the apprehension of not getting a fair and impartial inquiry or trial is required to be "reasonable and not imaginary, based upon conjectures and surmises".

"If it appears that the dispensation of criminal justice is not possible impartially and objectively and without any bias, before any court, the court may transfer the case to another court where it feels that holding of fair and proper trial is conducive," it said.

The court observed that a mere allegation that there is apprehension that justice will not be done in the given case, alone does not suffice. The judge in his order noted that in absence of any material demonstrating the apprehension that justice will not be done, without any bias, such application for transfer cannot be entertained.

"There is no material to conclude that the metropolitan magistrate was dealing with the matter without fairness and had any biasness (biases) against applicant (Kangana). Therefore, in my considered opinion, the applicant has not made out a case under section 408 of CrPC to transfer both the cases," it said.

Ranaut, in her plea, had alleged that the 10th Metropolitan Magistrate's Court (Andheri) had shown "bias and prejudice towards her" by not granting her permanent exemption and threatened to issue an "arrest warrant" for a "bailable and non-cognizable offence".

In October last year, the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) had rejected a similar plea by the actor, who later challenged the order before the sessions court. However, her revision petition was also rejected.

Her latest plea was filed under section 408 of the CrPC, which provides power to a sessions judge to transfer cases and appeals. Akhtar (76) had filed a complaint in the court in November 2020, claiming that Ranaut had made defamatory statements against him in a television interview, which allegedly damaged his reputation.

The complaint is being heard by the metropolitan magistrate court, Andheri. The lyricist has claimed that Ranaut had dragged his name during an interview while referring to a 'coterie' existing in Bollywood after the alleged suicide by actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year. Ranaut also moved a counter complaint in the Andheri court against Akhtar for alleged "extortion and criminal intimidation" before the metropolitan magistrate court.

In her complaint against Akhtar, the actor alleged that following her public dispute with her co-star, the lyricist had called her and her sister Rangoli Chandel to his house with "malafide intentions and ulterior motives and then criminally intimidated and threatened" her. PTI

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