Kangana challenges warrant issued by court in case filed by Javed Akhtar

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(Eds: adding lawyer's quote) Mumbai, Mar 11 (PTI) Actor Kangana Ranaut has approached a sessions court here challenging a bailable warrant issued by a magistrate in a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.

Ranaut's plea, filed on Wednesday, is slated to be heard on March 15, her lawyer said.

The Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court had on March 1 issued a bailable warrant against the actor after she failed to appear before the court.

Magistrate R R Khanhad earlier issued a summons to her in February.

As the actor failed to appear, the court issued a bailable warrant against her and posted the matter for hearing on March 26.

Ranaut was at liberty to approach a higher court to challenge the summons but she can not evade appearance before his court, the magistrate said.

Earlier, the police had submitted a report on Akhtar's complaint, saying an offence of defamation was prima facie made out against Ranaut.

Akhtar has accused the actor of making false statements about him and damaging his reputation when she spoke about a `coterie' in Bollywood in the aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput's death last June.

Kangana's lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee said her plea in the sessions court would be heard on Monday.

The summons itself wasissued without complying with the Code of Criminal Procedure as four witnesses named by Akhtar in his complaint had not been examined on oath, he said. PTI AVI KRK KRK