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Defamation case: 'Arrest warrant against Kangana Ranaut if she fails to appear in next hearing', says court

Lyricist Javed Akhtar has moved an application for an arrest warrant to be issued against Kangana Ranaut as she was absent during the hearing of a defamation case filed by him. The court while granting the exemption from personal appearance today said that it might issue an arrest warrant if Kangana fails to appear in the next hearing. All this happened after Kangana Ranaut's lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui told the metropolitan mageistrate's court that the actress is unwell and was showing 'COVID-19 like symptoms', while submitting a medical certificate from a doctor. The lawyer said, 'I am seeking a short date. She has been travelling a lot to promote her film and has been meeting a lot of people. So she has probably contracted Covid due to that. She has to undergo a test. ' According to reports, Javed Akhtar and his wife Shabana Azmi were both present before the court. Their lawyer opposed Kangana's application alleging that the actor is elongating the case while Akhtar has been attending almost all the hearings. Post which Kangana's lawyer submitted that the actress will attend the next hearing if she tests COVID-19 negative. The court scheduled the next hearing for September 20. Javed Akhtar had filed a criminal complaint against Kangana Ranaut in November 2020, before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate for allegedly making defamatory and baseless comments against him in a television interview. A month later, in December, the court directed the Juhu police to conduct an inquiry into Javed Akhtar's complaint. The police later informed the court that an offence of defamation, as alleged by Akhtar against the actor, was prima facie made out, and further probe into the same was required. Accordingly, the court went ahead and initiated criminal proceedings against the actress and issued summons to her in February this year.

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