Sedition case: Complainant moves plea in HC seeking contempt proceedings against Kangana Ranaut

The actor had filed a petition seeking quashing of a sedition case filed against her and her sister Rangoli Chandel by Bandra Police.

An interim application has been filed in the Bombay High Court on Monday seeking contempt proceedings against actor Kangana Ranaut for alleged breach of an undertaking given by her to refrain from commenting or tweeting anything pertaining to a petition she filed against a sedition case in the HC.

The actor had filed a petition seeking quashing of a sedition case filed against her and her sister Rangoli Chandel by Bandra Police. On November 24, the actor had submitted to the court that she would attend the Police station on January 8, 2021 and would not post any tweets pertaining to the case pending hearing.

The High Court, on November 24 had also recorded a statement by Ranaut’s lawyer that the sisters will refrain from saying anything in connection with the subject matter of FIR till further orders.

Last October, the Metropolitan Magistrate’s court at Bandra had ordered the police to investigate a complaint filed by Munawwar Ali Sayyed, a Bollywood casting director and fitness trainer, which referred to Ranaut’s and Chandel’s tweets and other statements.

Ranaut and her sister had appeared before Bandra police on January 8 to record their statements in the case as per assurance given to the HC last November.

The contempt petition filed by Sayyed through advocate Rizwan Merchant has claimed that before going to the Police station, the actor allegedly tweeted against the visit and also complained about the judiciary ‘forcing her to keep quiet’. In light of these tweets and video messages, the complainant sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the actor for violating the assurance given by her and maligning the court.

Advocate Merchant, appearing for the complainant, had earlier told the HC that despite an assurance given by Ranaut during an earlier hearing, she had posted several remarks on Twitter, including one on the day she went to the police station. “She went to the extent of saying that she is being tortured,” Merchant said, adding that orders be passed against such posts.

The interim plea by complainant stated, “The respondent (Ranaut) in blatant disregard to the statement made before this court and without having any respect to the authority and majesty of law committed wilfully breach order of this court and interfered with the administration of justice and judicial process by publishing a contemptuous tweet cum video on her Twitter handle.”

Meanwhile, a division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale, which is hearing the actor’s plea, had last week continued till January 25 the interim protection from any coercive action, including arrest by the Mumbai Police granted to Ranaut and her sister Chandel in a sedition case registered against them for alleged hate posts.

The High court had also directed the police not to summon the sisters for questioning till the next hearing on January 25.

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