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HC stays investigation against Salman Khan in casteist slur case

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In a big relief for Bollywood actor Salman Khan, the Rajasthan High Court yesterday stayed the probe in a case lodged against him for allegedly making a casteist remark on a TV show. On December 22 last year, a FIR under the prevention of atrocities against the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes act was lodged against the actor, for allegedly using an offensive term to describe a community during the promotion of his film 'Tiger Zinda Hai'.

"Khan had moved the high court with a prayer to quash this FIR against him and Justice Sandeep Mehta, after hearing the arguments yesterday, stayed the FIR”, said the actor's counsel Mahesh Bora.

Earlier, a FIR was registered at Churu's Kotwali police station accusing Khan of making a casteist remark against the Valmiki community. The actor's counsel argued in the court that the word used by Khan was not aimed at or directed towards the Valmiki community. He claimed that Khan was describing his own appearance in a dance sequence of the film. "In such a situation, there was no question about humiliating or hurting the sentiments of the community, so there was no case against him maintainable under the SC/ST Act," argued Bora.

The court, after hearing the arguments of Khan's counsel, ordered a stay on the FIR and issued a notice to the respondent seeking a reply in four weeks after which the matter will be listed for further hearing. Meanwhile, after completion of final arguments from Khan's side in another case against him for alleged poaching of two black bucks in Jodhpur's Kankani region in October, 1998, the counsel representing co-accused actors Saif Ali Khan, Neelam and Sonali Bendre began his arguments in a trial court, yesterday.

One of the prosecution counsels, Mahipal Bishnoi, said that during these arguments, the defence raised questions on the authenticity of the statements of the eye-witnesses. Arguments will continue on Tuesday, he said.

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