Lyricist Javed Akhtar has told a Mumbai court that the plea filed by actress Kangana Ranaut seeking transfer of Akhtar's criminal complaint against her, from the court at Andheri currently hearing the case, to any other Magistrate, is totally devoid of merits..The reply was filed in Ranaut’s plea challenging a Magistrate court order dismissing her transfer plea.In her plea, Ranaut had stated that the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) at Esplanade, Mumbai who dismissed her transfer petition, failed to appreciate that the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan (who is hearing Akhtar's complaint) grossly misused his power to intentionally cause injury to her..In the 118-page reply filed through Advocate Jay K Bharadwaj, Akhtar stated that contrary to Ranaut's claims, the Andheri Magistrate had in fact accommodated her requests despite vehement opposition by Akhtar’s counsel..Akhtar had moved the Andheri Magistrate against Ranaut's statements about him which were aired on Republic TV. Akhtar had alleged that the statements amounted to the offence of criminal defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code..In his present response, Akhtar pointed out that right after issuance of process by the Andheri Magistrate, Ranaut had failed to appear and had also not filed any exemption application from her appearance.Despite this, the Magistrate did not take any coercive action.Due to her consequent non-appearance and on request of Akhtar, the Magistrate issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut.Even after that, the Magistrate also granted her bail without her furnishing any proper surety..Akhtar highlighted that Ranaut did not move for bail or file an exemption application on March 1, 2021 which is when the Magistrate was compelled to issue a non-bailable warrant.“The compliance of provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be construed as ‘threats’ or ‘bias’ as envisaged and conceived by Ranaut. It is indeed Ranaut who after defaming Akhtar in an interview on National Television continued its acts of defamation via social media platforms accessible to millions of people (even after the filing of the complaint by Akhtar),” the reply stated..Akhtar contended that Ranaut had been trying to derail and delay the proceedings and had unsuccessfully challenged the procedural aspects of the Andheri Magistrate.However, the procedure adopted by Andheri Magistrate had been upheld by the Sessions Court in April 2021 and even by the Bombay High Court in September 2021. “Both the courts did not find any anomaly in the procedure adopted by the Magistrate court,” the reply underscored..Akhtar pointed out that “apart from the dates when COVID protocols were in force which allowed Ranaut to remain absent, the Andheri Magistrate had allowed 6 exemption applications filed by her. In all she had not remained present on 11 hearings.”.In conclusion, Akhtar contended that the Magistrate had insisted on Ranaut’s presence only for recording of plea, hence it was incorrect to say that the Magistrate had directed her presence on every hearing.Due to delay, the recording of plea which was to take place on February 1, 2021, has not taken place till date, he stated.