Ludhiana Court rejects plea against Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty; imposes fine on lawyer for frivolous complaint

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As per reports, a Ludhiana court on May 1, 2018 rejected the petition against Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty that sought action against them under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 for allegedly using derogatory words for a particular community. The actors had been accused of humiliating and insulting the Valmiki community by using the word ‘bhangi’ in separate TV shows.

The Court observed “As the court has not proceeded to summon the accused, the cost of Rs 10,000 is imposed on the complainant. The same is to be paid to the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) failing which the complainant shall undergo simple imprisonment for 30 days”.

“All that complainant has been alleging is that religious feelings have been hurt as both the accused have called themselves ‘Bhangi’. In these set of circumstances, comparing oneself with ‘Bhangi’ in the absence of intentional and deliberate malice to hurt the other person, cannot be said to have been sufficing for prosecution for the alleged offences under the SC/ST Act.” The court added that the present complaint seemed like an attempt to ‘irk’ people of the particular caste.

Salman Khan had used the word during the promotion of his film, while referring to his dancing skills. Shilpa Shetty had reportedly used the word to describe how she looks at home.

As posted here, the Supreme Court had on April 23, 2018 stayed “further proceedings, including investigation” in cases filed against Salman Khan under the SC/ST Act in Rajasthan and three other states for alleged offensive remarks against the Valmiki community members during the promotion of his film.

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