YouTuber Rashid Siddiquee has opposed a defamation suit filed against him by the actor, Akshay Kumar, in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. He has refused to pay Rs 500 crore damages sought by the star and claimed that there was nothing defamatory in his videos. He has further urged the star to withdraw the notice, failure to which he would initiate ‘appropriate legal proceedings’ against the actor. Also Read - Sushant Singh Rajput's Sister Shweta Singh Kirti Opens Up About 'Pain She is Going Through' After Actor's Death
On November 17, Akshay Kumar had issued a defamation notice against the Youtuber seeking Rs 500 crore in damages for making ‘false and baseless allegations’ against him in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. Also Read - Durgamati Motion Poster Out: Bhumi Pednekar is Ready For 'Payback Time', Trailer To Release Tomorrow
In the notice, the Laxmii actor, through his law firm IC Legal, claimed that Siddiquee in his YouTube channel FF News has published several ‘defamatory, libelous and derogatory’ content against him. On Friday, Siddiquee in his reply, through advocate JP Jayswal said that the allegations made by Akshay Kumar were ‘false, vexatious and oppressive and s raised with an intent to harass him’. It further added that following Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, several independent reporters covered the news as many influential people were involved and several prominent news channels were not providing correct information. Also Read - Akshay Kumar's Rs 500 Crore Defamation Suit on YouTuber Who Alleged he Helped Rhea Chakraborty Escape to Canada in Sushant Singh Rajput Death case
The response also claimed that every citizen has the fundamental right to freedom of speech. He also said that the content uploaded by him cannot be considered as defamatory and that they are to be treated as viewpoints with objectivity.
The reply also reads, “The news reported by Siddiquee was already in the public domain and he (Siddiquee) has placed reliance on other news channels as sources. The damages of Rs 500 crore are absurd and unwarranted and are made with the intent to pressurise Siddiquee. Akshay Kumar faced severe backlash after interviewing an influential politician, whereby thousands of people have made personal remarks against him on various YouTube videos and websites. Surprisingly, Kumar has not taken any action on the same, however, he has selectively chosen Siddiquee to saddle the blame of defamation.”
Siddiquee also questioned the delay in the defamation notice and said that the videos were uploaded in August this year.
Following Akshay Kumar’s notice, the Mumbai Police have also filed a case against Siddiquee on charges of defamation, public mischief, intentionally insult for his post against Mumbai police, the Maharashtra government and Aaditya Thackeray. He was granted bail on November 3 by a local Mumbai court which also directed him to corporate in the probe.