The Rajasthan High Court, on Monday, directed the lower Court to adjourn the defamation proceedings against actor Akshay Kumar for the trailer of his upcoming movie Jolly LLB-2.
Justice K.S. Ahluwalia has issued notice to the respondent and directed the ACMM Court No. 20 at Sanganer, Jaipur to “adjourn the matter beyond the date fixed by this court“.
A complaint has been filed by one Mr. Tikam Chand Sharma, alleging that the actor has defamed the entire community of lawyers as well as the criminal justice system with his portrayal of a lawyer in the movie.
The actor has now approached the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, seeking quashing of the order passed by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, wherein the Court had taken cognizance of the offence under Section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and had summoned Mr. Kumar.
He has relied on the decision rendered by the High Court in the case of Shah Rukh Khan v. State of Rajasthan & Ors., wherein it was held that the class of lawyers is not a homogenous group and therefore, cannot be defamed. He further contends that the prosecution cannot be sustained as the movie has already been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The Petition filed through Advocate Prateek Mathur asserts, “… neither the respondent no.2/ Complainant individually nor Advocates as a class have any reason to feel offended or defamed by any alleged action of the Petitioner more so when the alleged action of the Petitioner is a work of art and merely depict fiction and is not aimed to defame any individual or class in any manner whatsoever. Further also the complaint does not disclose any cause of grievance to set in motion the Criminal justice system.”
It goes on to emphasize on the fact that mens rea, which forms an essential ingredient for the offence of defamation, is absent in the case at hand, as Mr. Kumar had merely done his job and portrayed the role of an imaginary character in a commercial film purely based on fiction.
The Petition, therefore, demands quashing of the proceedings, contending that they have been initiated “ to harass the petitioner and to gain undue publicity and for other oblique motives”.
Read the Petition Here