The judge declared the matter as “not heard”. This means the appeal will have to be heard afresh by the bench which has now been assigned the matter, said Kakkad’s counsel Aditya Pratap.
On October 11, before the Diwali vacation, the judge had concluded the hearing and reserved the appeal for judgment, which was scheduled to be pronounced on Thursday. Justice Bhadang in his order said, “However, in spite of best efforts and as the matter was heard at some length and the record comprises several volumes, it was not possible to finalise the judgment, with only a day left at my disposal. In such circumstances, the appeal be treated as not heard.”
He posted the matter next to November 14.
Pratap said he had attended the Thursday hearing which was online where Justice Bhadang said, “I tried my level best till last evening also.” He said “unfortunately”, he was held up because of administrative and other work, and also there was vacation and that he understood the “apprehension” of parties and that he would have liked to have decided the case.
The actor had moved the HC in April after he got no relief in his plea to restrain Kakkad, a US citizen, from posting any “defamatory and disparaging allegations in videos” about him (Khan) and his family. The appeal was listed on 11 dates prior and heard at length.
Advocate Abha Singh and Aditya Pratap argued for Kakkad, saying it was an issue of fundamental right to speech and that Kakkad had evidence of what he posted, while Khan represented by DSK Legal and initially by senior counsel Ravi Kadam and later by Rohan Kadam argued for relief. His case was that the posts were prejudicial to the actor’s interest and caused him much harm.