MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed a 2019 complaint lodged against actor Salman Khan by a journalist alleging misbehaviour.
A single bench of Justice Bharati Dangre said the applications filed by Khan and his bodyguard Nawaz Shaikh are allowed. The HC also quashed the process (summons) issued to Khan and Shaikh by a lower court last year.
A magistrate’s court had, in March 2022, issued process to Khan and Shaikh and directed them to appear before it on April 5. The order was passed in a complaint filed against the duo by journalist Ashok Pandey alleging he was threatened and assaulted by them.
In April last year, Khan approached HC challenging the summons. On April 5, 2022, the HC stayed the summons pending hearing of the actor’s petition. Shaikh too later filed a petition challenging the summons, which was also stayed by HC.
Pandey had alleged that in April 2019, Khan and Shaikh abused and assaulted him for filming the actor while he was cycling on the road. Pandey had filed a private complaint before the magistrate seeking action against the actor.
Khan in his petition had claimed there were contradictions and improvisations in Pandey’s complaint and that he had not said anything to Pandey at the time of the alleged incident.
Metropolitan Magistrate R R Khan had issued process to Khan and Shaikh after noting a police report submitted in the matter stated that offences under Indian Penal Code Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) are made out against the accused persons.
Pandey had alleged the actor snatched his mobile phone while cycling on a Mumbai street when some media persons started clicking his photos. The actor had allegedly entered into an argument and threatened him, Pandey said in his complaint.
The issuance of a process marks the beginning of criminal proceedings before a metropolitan or judicial magistrate based on a complaint lodged by an individual.
The magistrate court issues the process if it finds prima facie substance in the allegations made in the complaint. Once the process is issued, the accused persons have to appear before the court.