Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar on Monday filed an application before a court in adjoining Thane district seeking dismissal of a defamation suit filed against him over his alleged remarks comparing the RSS with the hardline group Taliban.
The 76-year-old poet-lyricist termed the suit as vexatious and meritless and said it has been filed only to “intimidate and exhaust” him and maintained his alleged defamatory remarks were not specific either towards the RSS or its existing members.
Akhtar submitted the application through his advocate Jay Bhardwaj, urging the court to reject the suit filed by RSS activist Vivek Champanerkar on the ground that the plaintiff (Champanerkar) does not have locus standi and cause of action to file the plea.
Champanerkar, in his suit, has not demanded any damages for himself, but has sought relief for the RSS, the application said.
In the present case, the goal of the plaintiff (Champanerkar) is achieved if the defendant (Akhtar) succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. Winning is not the intent of the plaintiff, it added.
The former Rajya Sabha MP further said a suit for defamation can be filed only by a person who has been allegedly defamed.
“At the outset, it is most respectfully submitted that the alleged defamatory remarks made by the defendant (Akhtar) are not specific either towards the RSS or the existing members of the RSS,” the application said.
“The said remarks are extremely general in nature and are not related either to a specific person or to an identifiable class of persons. In cases where allegedly a class of people have been defamed, then the entire class as a whole may file a plaint,” it said.
The court on Monday directed Champanerkar to file his reply to Akhtar’s application by February 10.
Champanerkar had filed the suit in September 2021, days after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, seeking Re 1 as compensation. On September 27, the court had issued a notice to Akhtar seeking his reply to the suit.
In his suit, Champanerkar had claimed the statements made by the noted film personality belittled the RSS’s image in the eyes of the common public.