Mumbai: Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut on Friday moved a plea seeking permanent exemption from appearing before a magistrate court here in a defamation complaint lodged by veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar.
In her plea, filed through advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, Ranaut has sought permanent exemption from court appearance on the ground that she needs to travel to different parts of India and also overseas to fulfil her professional commitments.
The plea further said attending the court on a regular basis will require the actor to travel miles to Mumbai from different work locations, thereby causing her undue hardships. The applicant will thus not only be unable to meet her professional commitments, but also both she and production houses will incur huge financial losses, it added.
The court allowed her to skip in-person appearance for the day (June 25) and posted the permanent exemption plea for hearing on July 27.
Akhtar (76) had filed the complaint in the magistrate’s court in last November claiming the actor had made defamatory statements against him in a television interview, which allegedly damaged his reputation. In his complaint, Akhtar claimed that had made defamatory comments against him in an interview by dragging his name while referring to a “coterie” existing in Bollywood, following the death of filmstar Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.
The magistrate had directed the Mumbai police to carry out a preliminary probe into the complaint. In February, the police submitted a report to the court, saying an offence of defamation was made out against Ranaut.
On March 1, magistrate R R Khan had issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut after she failed to appear before the court as per earlier directions.
Later, her warrant was cancelled after Ranaut furnished a cash bail of Rs 20,000 and a surety of Rs 15,000. Earlier, she had also moved the sessions court to quash the legal proceedings and summons issued against her by the magistrate court. The sessions court had dismissed her application.