The Bombay HC in the matter of Salman Khan v/s State of Maharashtra & Anr quashed the criminal proceedings against the actor Salman Khan noting celebrities should not be unnecessarily oppressed.
Justice Bharti Dangre observed that the judicial process is not a means to mere harassment because the accused is a well-known celebrity and without following the procedure of law the accused shall not be subjected to unnecessary oppression by the complainant.
The petitioner was booked under sections 504 & 506 which is an intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace & criminal intimidation respectively.
The complainant had obtained permission from the bodyguard of the actor to film him while riding his bicycle and when he started recording it was alleged that the actor snatched the phone of the complainant and deleted the data from it.
The High Court had stayed the order of the Magistrate and thereafter the petitioner also sought to quash the same before the High Court.
Justice Dangre noted that the magistrate did not follow the procedural mandate as laid down in the Criminal Procedure Code before taking cognizance of the complaint.
The Court observed that the words uttered in despair or a gesture, however frightful, by itself would not attract Section 504. The allegations against the actor in the complaint, apart from being an afterthought, in no case met the necessary ingredients of Sections 504 & 506.
Thus in light of the above observations, the judge quashed the order and observed that the continuation of proceedings against the actor would be nothing short of an abuse of the process.