‘Defamatory’ posts on social media: Mumbai court asks police to inquire into complaint against Kangana, sister

The complaint filed through lawyer Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh had claimed that on April 18, Ranaut had posted a short video on social media against a community.

A metropolitan court in Andheri on Thursday directed the police to conduct an inquiry on a private complaint made against actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel for alleged “defamatory and objectionable” statements on their social media accounts.

The court has directed the inquiry under Section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code to decide whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding in the case.

The complaint filed through lawyer Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh had claimed that on April 18, Ranaut had posted a short video on social media against a community. The complaint also claimed that on April 15, Chandel had also made an objectionable statement on Twitter, after which her account was suspended. The complaint also alleged that the posts were derogatory and done to “gain cheap publicity and personal gain”. Deshmukh said in his plea that he had approached the police with a complaint but no action was taken on it.

The court said that since the allegations were based on a video uploaded online and the other evidence is also of an electronic nature, relevant certificates under the Indian Evidence Act were required to determine their authenticity and to admit it as evidence. “…inquiry at the hands of the police is necessary for proceedings against proposed accused. Such inquiry will be helpful to decide the roles of the accused,” the court said. It has sought an inquiry report by December 5.

Earlier this month, the Bandra metropolitan court had ordered an FIR to be registered against Ranaut and Chandel based on a private complaint filed before it. The complaint stated that Ranaut was “creating divisions between communities and spreading communal hatred”.

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