Film trade analyst and your editor, Komal Nahta, told the Andheri metropolitan magistrate court today (July 10) that he felt shocked and distressed when he saw Kangana Ranaut’s interview to Republic TV on 19th July, 2020, wherein she alleged that writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar had threatened her in 2016. In the said interview given by the actress in the aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide in June 2020, she alleged that Akhtar had asked her to apologise to Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan as otherwise they were powerful enough to send her to jail where she would be forced to commit suicide. There was an ongoing feud between Hrithik Roshan and Kangana then.

Standing as a witness in the defamation case filed by Javed Akhtar, Nahta told the court, “I could not believe that Javed Akhtar could talk in such a fashion to any woman, least of all to a well-known actress like Kangana Ranaut.” Admitting that his family and friends were aware of his friendship with Javed Akhtar as he had interviewed him on several occasions and had also met him countless times at film functions, Komal Nahta added that he was even more distressed when his friends and family members taunted him for befriending “such a man” who spoke so derogatorily to women.


On being asked by Akhtar’s lawyer, Jay Bharadwaj, whether he had then spoken to the writer-lyricist, Nahta replied in the affirmative. “I was so shocked and felt so humiliated when my family and friends ridiculed me for associating with “people like Javed Akhtar” that I picked up the phone and spoke to Javed saab. I asked him how he could speak to any woman the way he had allegedly done. Javed saab told me, he had not spoken like that to Kangana, that she had lied in the interview.” The examination of Nahta proceeded with Bharadwaj asking him if he was satisfied by Akhtar’s clarification. Nahta replied, “After speaking with Javed saab, I was convinced that he had not said what was alleged. Even otherwise, in my entire career so far, I have never known Javed saab to speak rudely or derogatorily to anybody. What’s more, even if Javed Akhtar wants to show his displeasure, his comments are invariably laced with humour. The fact that there was no humour in Javed Akhtar’s alleged comments convinced me that they weren’t his statements.” Nahta further told the court that he made it a point to tell his friends (who had taunted him) about his conversation with Javed saab, but while some were convinced that Javed Akhtar had been made a scapegoat, there were other friends who did not believe Nahta. “I am close enough to Javed Akhtar to pick up the phone and seek a clarification, and I’ve known him since many years to understand his clarification,” Nahta concluded, “but I doubt whether the world must be convinced. And before how many people can Javed Akhtar clarify that the statements attributed to him were not made by him?”

Nahta will be cross-examined by Kangana’s lawyer on July 24.