Gujarat HC quashes criminal proceedings against Shah Rukh Khan
Ahmedabad: In a relief to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday quashed a 2017 criminal case against him in connection with the stampede at the railway station in Vadodara during a train trip to promote his film 'Raees'.
The case was registered for allegedly committing acts endangering the life or personal safety of others after a man suffered a heart attack at the Vadodara railway station during the 'Raees' promotion event. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead after the examination.
Justice Nikhil Kariel allowed Khan's plea seeking quashing of the criminal case against him and the summons issued against him by a Vadodara court.
Khan had approached the high court after the lower court issued him a summons under section 204 of the CrPC (for securing the attendance of the accused).
A court of the chief judicial magistrate in Vadodara had issued summons to Khan after noting that there was sufficient ground for proceedings against him in the case under sections 336, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly committing acts endangering the life or personal safety of others and causing simple and grievous hurt to them by such acts.
One Farheed Khan Pathan, a local politician, had suffered a heart attack at the Vadodara railway station on January 23, 2017, during the stampede caused by the people eager to catch a glimpse of the superstar who had arrived on a train. A few others were injured in the incident.
Khan was travelling from Mumbai to Delhi in August Kranti Rajdhani Express to promote his movie, 'Raees' and when the train pulled into Vadodara railway station, hundreds of his fans rushed to the platform to catch his glimpse. The superstar threw 'smiley balls' and 't-shirts' at the crowd, causing a scuffle.
One Jitendra Solanki had moved the Vadodara court seeking the initiation of criminal proceedings against Khan after the police refused to take his complaint and register an FIR against the superstar.
The complainant raised the issue of "criminal negligence and recklessness" on part of Khan by throwing gifts at his fans which caused the stampede and subsequent death of a person.
The victim's relative had opposed Khan's plea in the high court, saying that the actor caused chaos at the railway station by throwing balls and t-shirts at the crowd of his fans on the platform. Khan's "irresponsible behaviour" caused the death of his fan and injuries to others.
Khan's lawyer Mihir Thakore argued that throwing 'smiley balls' and t-shirts cannot be considered to be rash or negligent either endangering human life or personal safety by any stretch of the imagination.
In its order, the high court observed that the complaint against Khan was filed by a person who had no direct connection with the incident in question.
The HC also observed that it is required to consider if it would be fair and justifiable to allow a trial against Khan in Vadodara and inconvenience ordinary citizens of the city.