Javed Akhtar served show-cause notice by Thane court over his RSS-Taliban remarks

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Updated: September 28, 2021 1:28 PM

The court of the additional chief judicial magistrate and joint civil judge (senior division) has directed Javed Akhtar to appear before it on November 12.

The court of the additional chief judicial magistrate and joint civil judge (senior division) has directed Akhtar to appear before it on November 12.

A Thane court has issued a show-cause notice to writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar in connection with a defamation suit filed against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist for comparing the organisation to the Taliban. The court of the additional chief judicial magistrate and joint civil judge (senior division) has directed Akhtar to appear before it on November 12.

The activist, in his complaint, alleged that Akhtar made the remarks as a well-planned” conspiracy to defame RSS and “discourage, disparage and misguide” the people who have joined RSS.

According to the complaint, Akhtar said that the goal of RSS is the same as that of the Taliban “even after the highest democratically elected office bearers of Bharat like the incumbent president, vice-president, prime minister and several cabinet ministers…have been supporters and members of RSS”.

He added that Akhtar had made the comments “without proof” of even one member having acted “like Taliban”. The complainant sought Re 1 as damages and compensation and a permanent injunction to not drag the name of RSS or make such statements.

Earlier this month, Akhtar, in an interview with NDTV, said that it is time for supporters of the VHP and the RSS to introspect. “I think people who support organisations like the RSS, VHP or Bajrang Dal need to do some introspection. Of course, Taliban are reprehensible… they are barbarians. But the people whom you are supporting, how are they different from them [the Taliban],” he said.

Akhtar said some people in India want segregation in society and that he saw an “uncanny resemblance” between the Taliban and people “who want to be like Taliban”.

Over the past week, an RSS worker and lawyer also filed a criminal defamation complaint against Akhtar, while another RSS member and advocate sent a legal notice seeking damages of Rs 100 crore in connection with the same remarks.

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