Ever since little known actress made allegations of sexual assault against director Anurag Kashyap and named actress Richa Chadha along with some other actresses whose name she alleged Anurag Kashyap had used to convince her to consent to his advances, Richa has been fuming. She sought an immediate retraction and apology from Payal which was not forthcoming.
She not only denied any such suggestions, threatened to sue Payal Ghosh and she carried out her threat and filed a defamation case against Payal in the Bombay High Court. Richa has also sued news channel ABN Andhrajyothy where Payal’s interview was originally broadcast and Kamaal R Khan who just carried the original statements of Payal Ghosh.
The matter has been before the court twice, on October 7 and 12 and is likely to be listed for October 14 for final hearing, if it does not settle between parties.
In the court yesterday, the lawyers from both sides told the court that the deliberations were on to settle the matter as Payal Ghosh had agreed to apologize to Richa Chadha. Both sides – although working on the modalities of settlement, had not been able to settle the matter.
After listening to the current state of affairs, the Bombay High Court asked the lawyers appearing for Richa Chadha and Payal Ghosh to consider giving settlement talks another chance.
Justice AK Menon added that if the parties do not reach a settlement by the next hearing, the matter will be heard on merits.
Up until the October 6 hearing Payal Ghosh at least in public was adamant not to apologize. But things began to change soon because of October 7 hearing.
On Ocotber 7, appearing for Richa Chadha today, Advocate Sameena Bedi Sachar apprised the court of the fact that after the previous hearing Payal Ghosh had put out a statement on her twitter handle right stating that she will not apologize to Richa.
But Payal’s lawyer Advocate Nitin Satpute informed the Court that she is willing to apologise to Chadha and settle the matter.
Advocate Satpute told Justice Menon that his client- Payal Ghosh never intended to defame anyone and that she “is desirous of withdrawing her statements” she had made about Richa Chadha.
Advocate Satpute further told the court that Paayal Ghosh “will also tender an unconditional apology”.
Advocate Satpute asked the Court for more time to take instructions from his client in order to discuss the terms of the settlement and to file consent terms.
Appearing for Kamal R Khan, Advocate Manoj Gadkari sought for more time to file his reply, stating that Khan was unwell and not in the country.
Advocate Gadkari’s request was granted by the court and allowed him more time to file the reply. And the matter was listed for October 12 by Justice AK Menon. You can read the order here.
When Richa filed the defamation suit, she had sought and was granted interim injunction against news channel and others to refrain from reporting anything being disputed by Richa Chadha in her defamation suit plaint. The Court also extended the interim injunction till the next hearing. The matter will be listed on Wednesday, October 14.