After much drama, the legal tussle between actors Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut seems that it could be headed towards resolution, with Ranaut being sent a notice by the cyber crime cell of the Mumbai police, requesting her to appear as witness in the e-mail 'impostor' case within 48 hours or be liable to face prosecution.
The summons, which is addressed to Kangana and her sister Rangoli, reads, "As it is pertinent for the investigation to analyse the digital documents, whose access you reserve, and record your statement. You are requested to intimate the date-time and place of your convenience so that the undersigned the conduct the interview within two days of receipt of the summons... failure to abide shall attract liability u/s (under Section) 174 of IPC." Violation of the section attracts punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or fine of Rs 500, or both.
Sources said a copy of the notice had been e-mailed to both parties and a constable would hand-deliver it to Kangana today. "Hrithik has been a disturbed man ever since he found out about an impostor who had stolen his identity to chat with people two years ago. It affected him deeply that was someone was posing as him and chatting with Kangana. He felt victimised," a friend of Hrithik's said.
When Hrithik had approached the cell to lodge an FIR in December 2014, he didn't reveal Kangana's identity, claims the friend, since he felt she too was a victim and wanted to protect her identity. "He did not want her to be dragged into the case. Hence, he said a 'fan' was in touch with the impostor. Things, however, got complicated over the last two years. He felt Kangana wasn't convinced with the impostor theory and continued exchanging mails," the friend said.
A snapshot of the notice sent to Kangana Ranaut
He added that when Kangana continued to hint at him as an "ex", Hrithik was forced to send her a legal notice on February 26 this year. She then responded with a 21-page missive of her own (Read more). Since then, things have gone downhill. On April 7, hitlist reported how a laptop owned by Kangana had become a key piece of evidence in the case. While sources said, she had demanded a copy of the FIR before appearing before the cyber police, her lawyer insisted that she was never asked to surrender the contentious laptop as part of the probe.
A senior officer of the cell, requesting anonymity, said, "The cell has every right to send a notice to a witness if they are convinced that he or she has evidence which could work in favour of the investigation." About Kangana receiving a copy of the FIR, he added, "A witness is not entitled to see the FIR copy; only the complainant has access to it. Under circumstances where the witness is not willing to co-operate, it is fully legitimate on the police's part to take action against the witness for not appearing and withholding evidence that could work for the case."
DCP (cyber crime) M Rajkumar, said, "The complaint is against an unknown criminal. We are doing our best to crack the case. How we are going about it, we are not ready to divulge to the media." He refused to comment when hitlist asked him if Kangana was entitled to receive a copy of Hrithik's FIR.
Kangana's lawyer claimed she had not received the said notice till the time of going to press. The only way for Hrithik's name to be cleared in the ongoing controversy is if Kangana shares her witness account with the police and the impostor is nabbed. "What disturbs him (Hrithik) is that Kangana has misunderstood his intentions and is refraining from meeting the cops as a witness and handing over her laptop despite repeated requests," the friend said. When contacted, Hrithik simply said, "My target isn't Kangana; it is the impostor."