Bollywood actor and action star Sunil Shetty got a major relief from the Delhi High Court which quashed a criminal complaint filed against him by a stuntman alleging criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation.
Justice Mukta Gupta quashed the complaint case filed by Puran Chauhan against Shetty, his company Popcorn Entertainment Pvt Ltd and three others for criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation which was pending before a magisterial court.
On Chauhan’s complaint, on January 15, 2010, the magisterial court though did not summon Shetty for offence punishable under Section 420 IPC (criminal conspiracy) but summoned him alone for offence punishable under Section 506 Part-II IPC.
Chauhan’s complaint was that he was a stuntman in Bollywood. In March, 2007, Shetty along with Harish Shetty, Huzefia Lakadwala and Joy Augustine approached him at his residence with the proposal and request to assist them in making a film based on the serial bomb blast that occurred in the year 2006 in Mumbai.
Chauhan refused to assist as an Assistant Director without any remuneration. On 5th April, 2007 he was offered ₹50 lakhs in consideration for the work i.e. for the waiver by the Ministry of Railways for using the railway site and a further sum of ₹5,000 per day was offered for working as Assistant Director.
After getting the job done when Puran Chauhan asked for release of ₹25 lakhs, he was asked to come with documents at the Mumbai office. On reaching Mumbai office, he was asked to sign blank papers and on protest he was gheraoed and compelled to sign on blank papers.
Chauhan complained that he then came to Delhi and made a phone call to Sunil Shetty who used abusive language and threatened him.
Metropolitan Magistrate held that it could not be said that intention of the accused persons, right from the very beginning was to deprive the complainant of the legitimate fruits of his labour
Shetty contended before the high court that the complaint filed by Puran Chauhan was as a counter blast to their complaints of extortion however, the court refused to go into the same at this stage.
“A perusal of the complete telephonic conversation of the three calls placed on record by the Puran Chauhan will reveal that Puran Chauhan was repeatedly making calls to which the petitioner replied that he should not call him and whatever the matter was, he should sort out with Joy. Of course the language used by the petitioner was abusive but his grievance was with regard to the repeated calls being made to him. The continuous conversation reveals that Puran Chauhan was not alarmed by the words and he continued to engage the petitioner in conversation which he was recording,” the high court noted.
“Reading the conversation between the parties in its entirety though abusive has neither raised an alarm to Puran Chauhan of threat nor was forcing him not to do any act which he was legally bound to do or omit to do any act which he was legally entitled to do,” Justice Gupta said.
The court, as a consequence, quashed the complaint case filed by Chauhan before the magisterial court.
Read the Judgment Here