Indian YouTuber opposes Canadian actor’s $67 million defamation notice

YouTuber Rashid Siddiquee opposed the defamation notice issued against him by India-born naturalised Canadian actor Akshay Kumar in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case and refused to pay INR₹ 500 crore (USD$ 67 million approx) damages sought by the star, claiming there was nothing defamatory in his videos.

Rashid Siddiquee has also urged Akshay Kumar to withdraw the notice, failing which he would initiate “appropriate legal proceedings” against the actor.

Akshay Kumar had on November 17 issued a defamation notice against Rashid Siddiquee seeking ₹ 500 crore in damages for making “false and baseless allegations” against him in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.

Akshay Kumar, in the notice sent through law firm IC Legal, said Rashid Siddiquee in his YouTube channel FF News has published several “defamatory, libelous and derogatory” videos.

Rashid Siddiquee, in his reply sent through his advocate JP Jayswal on Friday, claimed the allegations made by Akshay Kumar were “false, vexatious and oppressive and is raised with an intent to harass him”.

The reply further claimed that every Indian citizen has the fundamental right to freedom of speech.

It added that the content uploaded by Rashid Siddiquee cannot be considered as defamatory and that they are to be treated as viewpoints with objectivity.

“The news reported by Siddiquee was already in the public domain and he (Siddiquee) has placed reliance on other news channels as sources,” the reply stated.

It further questioned the delay in the defamation notice sent and said the videos were uploaded in August 2020.