5 April 2022 9:12 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim relief to actor Salman Khan and stayed the summons issued by the Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court to him on a journalists' 2019 complaint alleging criminal intimidation, till May 5, 2022. Journalist Ashok Pandey had alleged that Khan had snatched his mobile phone while cycling on a Mumbai-street when some media...
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim relief to actor Salman Khan and stayed the summons issued by the Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court to him on a journalists' 2019 complaint alleging criminal intimidation, till May 5, 2022.
Journalist Ashok Pandey had alleged that Khan had snatched his mobile phone while cycling on a Mumbai-street when some media persons started clicking his photos. The actor argued with him and then threatened him, he added.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere passed the order on a quashing petition filed by Khan challenging the Maigstrate's order issuing process and summoning Khan and his bodyguard Nawaz Shaikh on Pandey's complaint.
She noted improvements in Pandey's complaint and non-compliance of section 200 of the CrPC (verification) whereby the Magistrate must record the complainant's statement.
Justice Dere said that being a journalist, the complainant wouldn't have kept quiet and all his allegations would have reflected in the first complaint itself.
On Tuesday, Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda for Khan argued that he only asked his bodyguard to stop Pandey from taking any pictures and if anyone had to be prosecuted it should have been the bodyguard, not him.
He argued that on the date of the incident, April 24, itself a complaint was sent to police in which Pandey alleged that his phone was snatched. However, in the criminal complaint to the Magistrate, there were several improvements.
Ponda further submitted that verification under section 200 which was a pre-requisite to issuance of process was not done in this case.
Advocate Ejaz Naqvi appearing on behalf of the complainant submitted that the Pandey was in trauma. He sought time to file a reply.
Observing that Pandey was a journalist and wouldn't have kept quiet, the court granted him four weeks to file the reply and posted the matter for hearing on May 5.
Justice Dere further ordered staying the summons till then.
Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan relied on a police report in the matter, which stated that prima facie 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. The summons is returnable on April 5, 2022.
"Keeping in view the self-speaking material on record, positive police report u/s 202 of CrPC and other material on record, there is sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused persons for offences u/s 504, 506 of the IPC. Hence, I am satisfied to issue process against the accused persons through the following order," the Andheri court order read.
Pandey had initially filed a complaint alleging offences under sections 324, 392,426,506(ii) and 34 of the IPC and sought for an FIR to be registered u/s 156(3). However, the court turned down the request for an FIR but directed investigation u/s 202 of the CrPC to ascertain if there are sufficient grounds to proceed against Khan and his bodyguard.
The police report claimed that only offences under sections 504 and 506 of the IPC were made out and process was issued accordingly. While Section 506(ii) of the IPC is non-bailable, punishment under section 506 of the IPC is for a term which may extend upto two years, or with fine, or both.
Appearance : Counsel is Abad Ponda; Agastya Desai is junior counsel and Vikram Sutaria, from DSK Legal- Anand Desai, Managing Partner; Chandrima Mitra, Partner and Parag Khandhar, Partner