The Supreme court stonewalled the attempt of an activist from Vadodara in Gujarat to revive a criminal case against Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan saying that the rights of celebrities as human beings can not be jeopardized and must remain equal to the common citizens. The apex court mentioned that celebrities can not be made to feel vulnerable.
Jitendra Solanki, a resident of Vadodara had challenged the Gujarat high court verdict which ended a criminal case registered against Shah Rukh Khan. He had initially registered a case against the actor in 2017 alleging that Shahrukh khan was responsible for the death of a man at Vadodara railway station.
Shahrukh was traveling on the train while promoting his film “Raees”, Shahrukh was traveling from Mumbai to Delhi on the August Kranti Express. He stepped out of the train for 20 seconds and threw his shirt on the crowd that gathered at Vadodara railway station to get a glimpse of hi. In the melee that ensued, a person died of a heart attack. Shah Rukh was charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Railway Act for endangering the lives of others.
The bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravi Kumar observed while affirming the Gujarat high court order that quashed the criminal case against the actor in April “What was the fault of this man ( Sharukh Khan)? Just because he is a celebrity, it doesn’t mean he has no rights”
Pulling up the petitioner by questioning his “personal interest” the bench advised him to rest the matter. Dismissing his appeal the court observed that Shahrukh Khan could not be expected to ensure everyone’s safety or provide a personal guarantee while traveling by train.
After Jitendra Solanki lodged an FIR, a Vadodara magisterial court issued a summons noting that there was sufficient ground for proceedings against Shahrukh in the case under sections 336, 337, and 338 of the Indian Penal Code. The sections pertain to committing acts endangering the life or personal safety of others and causing simple and grievous hurt to them by such acts.
The Gujarat high court, however, quashed the case holding that the actor cannot be held guilty of criminal negligence. It was also noted that Sharukh Khan had the administration’s permission to promote his film.
Senior counsel Siddharth Luthra and a team of lawyers from Karanjawala & Co represented Shahrukh Khan’s case.