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A Mumbai court on Tuesday allowed Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day in a defamation case filed by noted lyricist Javed Akhtar and said it will issue a warrant against her if she fails to appear on the next date of hearing on September 20. Kangana, through her counsel Rizwan Siddiquee, submitted a medical certificate before the court and said that she had been traveling for the promotion of her film and “developed COVID-19 symptoms”. However, Javed Akhtar’s lawyer said it was “an orchestrated tactic” to delay the case proceedings.

Ahead of the next hearing, we have detailed the timeline of Kangana Ranaut vs Javed Akhtar defamation case:

November 2, 2020: Javed Akhtar files defamation case against Kangana Ranaut

Javed Akhtar filed a defamation case against Kangana Ranaut in Andheri Magistrate Court for making “baseless allegations” against him in an interview to a senior journalist after actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai home in June. In the interview, Kangana had alleged that Javed Akhtar asked her to apologise to Hrithik Roshan, who in 2016 filed a lawsuit against the actress, asking her to apologise for damaging his reputation through the “silly ex” statement.

“Once Javed Akhtar had called me to his house and told me that Rakesh Roshan and his family are very big people. If you don’t apologise to them, you will have nowhere to go. They will put you in jail, and eventually, the only path would be that of destruction… you will commit suicide. These were his words. He shouted and yelled at me. I was shaking in his house,” Kangana had told the Republic.

Javed Akhtar, through his lawyer Niranjan Mundargi, had filed the complaint against Kangana under section 499 (defamation) and section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.

December 3, 2020: Javed Akhtar submits a statement in defamation case against Kangana Ranaut

Javed Akhtar recorded his statement through his lawyer before the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in connection with the complaint of defamation filed by him against Kangana Ranaut. As part of the process, he submitted his statement via his counsel before the magistrate for verification of the complaint.

December 19, 2020: Court orders police probe into Javed Akhtar’s defamation complaint against Kangana Ranaut

The metropolitan magistrate court directed police to investigate Javed Akhtar’s complaint of defamation against Kangana Ranaut. Akhtar’s lawyer argued for action on the complaint and asked the court to take cognizance of the same. After hearing the arguments, the Magistrate court directed Juhu police to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made in the complaint and submit a report by January 16.

January 16, 2021: Mumbai Police gets time till Feb 1 to report on Javed Akhtar’s defamation complaint

The magistrate court allowed the Mumbai police time till February 1 to file a report of their inquiry into a defamation complaint filed by Javed Akhtar against Kangana Ranaut.

January 21, 2021: Mumbai Police summons Kangana Ranaut in defamation case

The Mumbai Police summoned Kangana Ranaut in connection with the defamation case filed against her by Javed Akhtar. Kangana was asked to appear before the Juhu police on January 22.

February 1, 2021: Court issues summons to Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut was issued a summon by the magistrate court after Mumbai police informed it that an offence of defamation, as alleged by Javed Akhtar against her, was made out and further probe into it was required. The court posted the matter for hearing on March 1.

March 1, 2021: Court issues bailable warrant against Kangana Ranaut

The Andheri metropolitan court issued a bailable warrant against Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it on charges of defamation against her by Javed Akhtar. The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 22.

March 25, 2021: Warrant against Kangana cancelled as she appears in court

The Mumbai court cancelled the bailable warrant against Kangana Ranaut after she appeared before it in connection with the defamation complaint filed by Javed Akhtar.

April 5, 2021: Court dismisses Kangana’s plea to suspend proceedings

A sessions court in Mumbai dismissed a petition filed by Kangana Ranaut to suspend the proceedings initiated against her in connection with the defamation case filed by Javed Akhtar. Kangana had challenged an order issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Andheri in February, asking her to appear before it in connection with the defamation case. The actor argued in her petition that before summoning her, the magistrate did not follow the procedure laid down in Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, under which both the complainant and witnesses in the case have to be examined upon oath.

July 21, 2021: Kangana moves HC against defamation case

Kangana Ranaut moved the Bombay High Court seeking the quashing of proceedings initiated by a city magistrate on the criminal defamation complaint. In an appeal filed through advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, Kangana claimed that the Andheri metropolitan magistrate’s court initiated proceedings against her by relying only on the police’s report and did not examine witnesses independently.

September 9, 2021: HC dismisses Kangana’s plea seeking quashing of defamation case

The Bombay High Court dismissed the plea filed by Kangana Ranaut seeking quashing of the criminal defamation proceedings initiated against her by the magistrate court based on Javed Akhtar’s complaint.

September 14, 2021: Court to issue warrant against Kangana Ranaut if she fails to appear in defamation case on Sept 20

Granting an exemption from personal appearance to Kangana Ranaut in the defamation proceedings, the metropolitan magistrate court said that it will issue an arrest warrant against her if she remains absent during the next hearing on September 20.

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