Supreme Court stays proceedings against Salman Khan for alleged comments against Valmiki Community, issues notice on quashing FIR

The Supreme Court on April 23, 2018 stayed “further proceedings, including investigation” in cases filed against Salman Khan under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in Rajasthan and three other states for alleged offensive remarks against the Valmiki community members during the promotion of his film ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’. Read order here.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar, and D Y Chandrachud considered the plea of senior counsel NK Kaul, representing the actor, that the proceedings in the following FIRs and criminal complaints be stayed.

(i) FIR No.258/2017, dated 22.12.2017, filed at P.S.Kotwali, Churu, Rajasthan;

(ii) FIR No.30/2018, dated 05.03.2018, filed at P.S.Nagori Gate, Jodhpur, Rajasthan;

(iii) Criminal Complaint No.170/Misc of 2018 filed before Ld.Metropolitan Magistrate, Bhoiwada, Mumbai, on 16.01.2018;

(iv) Criminal Complaint No.12 of 2018 filed before Special Court SC/ST Act, Patiala House Court, New Delhi, in February, 2018;

(v) Criminal Enquiry No.2 of 2018 filed on 15.01.2018 before District & Special Judge, Vadodara.

The court directed that no further criminal action shall be initiated against the actor either by way of F.I.R. or private complaint on the basis of his participation in the purported interview made by Salman Khan during the promotions of his last release Tiger Zinda Hai in December 2017. The Court also issued a notice to Rajasthan government on the plea for quashing of FIR. FIR was registered against Salman Khan for using ‘Bhangi’ word in a derogatory way and hurting the sentiments of Valmiki community during the promotions of his last release Tiger Zinda Hai in December 2017.

Salman Khan’s petition said the word was not aimed at or directed towards the Valmiki community and was merely used to describe his appearance in a dance sequence of the film.

In such a situation, there was no question of humiliating or hurting the sentiments of the community. So, there was no case against him maintainable under SC/ST Act,” he argued.

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