The Bombay High Court has postponed its ruling on actor Kangana Ranaut’s plea, seeking a joint trial for Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar‘s defamation complaint against her and her complaint against him. Both are reciprocal complaints. The Dindoshi Sessions court has suspended proceedings in Ranaut’s filed complaint.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice PD Naik stated that the order would be issued on February 2.

Rizwan Siddiquee, the legal representative for Kangana Ranaut, contended that both cases are cross-complaints arising from a 2016 incident involving the two parties. Siddiquee apprised the court that Ranaut’s complaint was lodged 10 months after Akhtar’s. The prolonged maternity leave taken by the Magistrate caused a substantial delay in addressing Ranaut’s complaint against Akhtar.

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Conversely, attorneys Jay Bharadwaj and Harsh Ramchandani, representing Javed Akhtar, argued that the complaints do not qualify as cross-complaints. Akhtar’s complaint stems from a television interview conducted by Ranaut in 2020, subsequent to the alleged suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Bharadwaj asserted that the Magistrate was approaching the conclusion of the trial in Akhtar’s complaint. He emphasized that Ranaut’s complaint, in its initial stages, faced delays due to her lack of pursuit. Furthermore, he underscored that Ranaut’s complaint, rooted in the 2016 encounter, was lodged over five-and-a-half years after the incident occurred.

Bharadwaj further asserted that, having a legal right to challenge the proceedings against Akhtar, the court had temporarily halted the proceedings in the Magistrate court. He contended that had Ranaut’s lawyer not requested an adjournment, the matter could have been resolved, dismissing it as a deliberate delay tactic.
Siddiquee, in response, cited Supreme Court judgments, arguing that as both complaints are cross-complaints, they should be adjudicated together, with a unified order issued for a fair resolution.

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