Bombay HC quashes case against Salman Khan, warns against using judiciary for harassmenttext_fields
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court quashed a complaint of intimidation against Salman Khan and said that the judicial process need not be a means of "needless harassment" because the accused is a celebrity.
"The judicial process need not be a means for needless harassment merely because the accused is a well-known celebrity and without adhering to the procedure of law, he shall not be subjected to unnecessary oppression at the hands of a complainant, who set in the machinery into motion to satisfy his vendetta and assumed that he was insulted by the cine star," said the order.
The case was filed by journalist Ashok Pandey in 2019. He alleged that he was threatened and assaulted by the actor and his bodyguard for filming the actor while riding a bicycle on a Mumbai street.
Justice Bharati Dangre noted that the magistrate's court had failed to follow the procedural mandate before issuing the summons. Metropolitan Magistrate R R Khan issued a summons, noting that a police report submitted in the matter stated that offences under IPC sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) were made out against the accused.
"The magistrate should have first recorded the statement of the complainant to verify his allegations." "The lower court surpassed the procedure laid down under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) while issuing the summons and it "suffers from serious infraction of procedure" to be adopted when a private complaint is filed," added the High Court.
The judge added that this was a fit case where the "issuance of process against the applicants (Salman Khan and Shaikh) and continuation of the proceedings is nothing short of abuse (of) the process." She also noted that the continuation of any action against the applicants would result in grave injustice.
Salman Khan in his petition claimed that he did not say anything to the journalist during the incident.