YouTuber Rashid Siddiqui opposes Rs 500 crore defamation notice by Akshay Kumar
YouTuber Rashid Siddiqui has opposed the defamation notice issued against him by actor Akshay Kumar in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput death case and refused to pay Rs 500 crore damages sought by the star, saying there was nothing defamatory in his videos.
Siddiqui has also asked Akshay Kumar to withdraw the notification, failing which he would initiate "appropriate legal proceedings" against the actor.
Kumar had on November 17 issued a defamation notice against Siddiqui seeking Rs 500 crore in damages for making "false and baseless allegations" against him in Rajput's death case.
Kumar, in the notification sent through law firm I C Legal, said Siddiqui in his YouTube channel FF News has published several "defamatory, libelous and derogatory" videos.
Siddiqui, in his answer sent through his advocate J P Jayswal on Friday, said the allegations made by Akshay Kumar were "false, vexatious and oppressive and is raised with a purpose to harass him".
It added that after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, several autonomous reporters, including Siddiqui, covered the news as many influential individuals were included and other noticeable media channels were not giving right information.
The answer further claimed that each Indian resident has the fundamental right to the right to speak freely of speech.
It added that the content uploaded by Siddiqui cannot be considered as defamatory and that they are to be treated as viewpoints with objectivity.
"The news revealed by Siddiqui was already in the public domain and he (Siddiqui) has placed reliance on other news channels as sources," the answer said.
It further questioned the delay in the defamation notice sent and said the videos were uploaded in August 2020.
"The damages of Rs 500 crore are absurd and unwarranted and are made with the goal to pressurize Siddiqui," the answer said.
Siddiqui sought Kumar to withdraw the notification and said on the off chance that it is not done, he would initiate appropriate legal proceedings.
The YouTuber from Bihar further claimed that the actor was selectively targeting him.
"Akshay Kumar faced severe backlash after meeting an influential politician, whereby thousands of individuals have made personal remarks against him on various YouTube videos and websites.
Surprisingly, Kumar has not taken any action on the same, nonetheless, he has selectively chosen Siddiqui to saddle the blame of defamation," the answer said.
The Mumbai police have also recorded a case against Siddiqui on charges of defamation, public mischief and intentional insult for his posts against Mumbai police, the Maharashtra government and minister Aaditya Thackeray.
Siddiqui was on November 3 granted anticipatory bail by a local court here, which guided him to cooperate in the probe.