Ranaut’s attorney, Rizwan Siddique, told a bench by SS Judges Shinde and Manish Pitale that the actor had done nothing wrong through his tweets.
He said the Bandra suburban trial court erred in allowing the recording of a First Information Report (FIR) against Ranaut on charges including sedition.
Siddique urged the High Court to overturn the lower court order as well as the FIR.
“There is an absolute non-application of spirit in the (Bandra) court order. Even the articles relied on against me do not constitute any offense. None of my tweets have elicited a reaction from the public. . They will not result in punishment like they were. Not followed by violence. What happened after the tweet? Was there foul play after my tweets? “Siddique told the HC in the name of Ranaut.
The actor and his sister Rangoli challenged the district court’s order to initiate criminal proceedings against them and the subsequent summons issued by the Mumbai police.
The FIR was registered against Ranaut and Rangoli in October last year on the instructions of the district court after Munawwar Ali Sayyad, casting director and fitness trainer, filed a lawsuit citing tweets and statements allegedly made by Ranaut and his sister.
In an affidavit filed with the HC earlier this month, Sayyad said that among other things, Ranaut and Rangoli encouraged “hatred and contempt, and incited disaffection with the government of Maharashtra,” through their tweets.
He said in the affidavit that the district court was therefore entitled to order the police to initiate proceedings and invoke the offense of sedition under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code against them.
In his complaint to the district court, Sayyed alleged that Ranaut, through his tweets and television interviews, had continually defamed the Hindi film industry by portraying Bollywood as a center of nepotism, favoritism, drug addicts, people with communal and murderous prejudices, etc.
He said Ranaut and Rangoli had also repeatedly encouraged enmity between communities through their remarks.
However, Ranaut’s lawyer Siddique denied the allegations on Monday.
He told the HC that the Bandra court did not follow due process and apply its wit in allowing the police to take action against Ranaut and his sister.
Earlier last month, Sayyad also filed a petition to initiate contempt proceedings against Ranaut for allegedly violating an earlier pledge she made to the HC.
He said in his plea that on November 24, Ranaut pledged not to make any statements regarding the Mumbai Police investigation into the sedition case filed against her.
However, on January 8, just before heading to the police station, Ranaut tweeted a video in which she spoke to her fans about the investigation, Sayyad said.
The HC hears Ranaut’s plea against the Bandra court and Sayyad’s contempt claim together.
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