Mumbai: Bihar-based YouTuber Rashid Siddiquee on Friday denied the defamation claims of actor Akshay Kumar in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
There was nothing defamatory about his YouTube videos on the Sushant Singh case, Siddiquee said in response to Kumar’s notice asking for Rs 500 crore.
Kumar would have to withdraw the notification, failing which he would initiate “appropriate legal proceedings,” he said.
The Bollywood star had sent a libel notice to Siddiquee on November 17 seeking redress for making “false and unfounded allegations” against him.
The notice sent by law firm IC Legal indicates that Siddiquee on his YouTube channel FF News uploaded several “libelous, slanderous and derogatory” videos.
The YouTuber, in his response sent Friday via attorney JP Jayswal, said the allegations made by Akshay Kumar were “false, vexatious and oppressive and are being raised with the intention of harassing him.”
After Rajput’s death by suicide, several independent journalists, including Siddiquee, covered the news as many influential people were involved and the main news channels were not providing correct information, he said.
Every Indian citizen has the fundamental right to freedom of expression and the content uploaded by Siddiquee cannot be considered defamatory as it was “viewed with objectivity,” the response said.
“The information reported by Siddiquee was already in the public domain and he relied on other news channels as sources,” he said.
He also questioned the delay in sending the defamation notice, as the videos were uploaded in August, two months after Rajput’s death.
“The damages of Rs 500 crore are absurd and unwarranted and are done with the intention of putting pressure on Siddiquee,” the response said.
Kumar would have to withdraw the notice, otherwise Siddiquee would initiate appropriate legal proceedings, he added.
“Akshay Kumar faced a backlash after interviewing an influential politician, in which thousands of people made personal remarks against him on various YouTube videos and websites. the blame for libel, ”says the response.
Mumbai Police have previously filed a complaint against Siddiquee for alleged libel, public mischief and intentional insult over his messages against the police, the government of Maharashtra and Minister Aaditya Thackeray.
Siddiquee was granted early bail on 3 November by a local court in the case.