Granting exemption from appearance to actor Kangana Ranaut within the defamation proceedings filed by poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar, a metropolitan magistrate’s court on Tuesday said that it’ll issue an bench warrant against her if she remains absent during the next hearing.
Ranaut’s lawyer, Rizwan Siddiqui, told the court that the actor was showing ‘Covid-like symptoms’ and has not been well. He submitted a medical certificate from a doctor.
“She has been travelling tons to market her film and has been meeting tons of individuals . So she has probably contracted Covid thanks to that. She has got to undergo a test. i’m seeking a short date,” Siddiqui told the court.
Lawyer Jay Bhanushali, representing Akhtar, who was present before the court along side wife Shabana Azmi, opposed Ranaut’s plea stating that she has been prolonging the case.
Bhanushali submitted that while Akhtar had ‘diligently’ attended most hearings, Ranaut had missed eight hearings since the court had issued process against her in February.
Bhanushali also submitted that Ranaut had not been granted any relief from appearance by higher courts.
Siddiqui said that the court had not functioned for three-four of these hearings and said that it had been a ‘genuine’ case where she couldn’t appear due to her health on Tuesday.
Siddiqui told the court that he was seeking a brief date and submitted that Ranaut will remain present for subsequent hearing unless her Covid-19 test result’s positive. In such an instance, he said, he will inform the court with another plea. The court scheduled subsequent hearing for September 20.
The court said that it had been keeping Bhanushali’s application seeking a warrant to be issued against Ranaut pending. “If she fails to seem , i will be able to issue an bench warrant ,” the court said.