Shah Rukh Khan—known as the King Khan of Bollywood—can breathe a sigh of relief as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Dilwale actor in a stampede case. The case was filed by high-profile Congress party leader Jitendra Solanki accusing Shah Rukh Khan of allegedly triggering a stampede at Vadodara railway station in 2017 while promoting his film, Raees, during which a man had died of a heart attack.
Ruling in favour of Shah Rukh Khan, the apex court on Monday remarked, “Celebrities have rights like all other citizens and cannot be made vicariously culpable.” The Supreme Court of India declined to revive a criminal case against the actor which was ended by the Gujarat High Court in its earlier judgment.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Congress leader Jitendra Solanki challenged the Gujarat High Court ruling in April this year that ended a criminal case registered against Shah Rukh Khan in connection with the death of a man at Vadodara railway station in 2017.
“What was the fault of this man (Khan)? Just because he is a celebrity, it doesn’t mean he has no rights,” the Bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravi Kumar observed while affirming the Gujarat high court order.
The Court, as reported by the Hindustan Times, said Khan could not be expected to ensure everyone’s safety or provide a personal guarantee while travelling by train. “If somebody travels by train, there is no personal guarantee. A celebrity has equal rights like every other citizen of the country,” the Bench said.
The Bench added: “He (Khan) is a celebrity but that doesn’t mean he can control everyone else. Let us focus on more important subjects that deserve attention and time of this court.”
Shah Rukh Khan was represented in the court through senior counsel Sidharth Luthra and a team of lawyers from Karanjawala & Co.
In the report published by the leading publication, it mentioned that a huge crowd gathered at the Vadodara railway station on January 23, 2017, upon the arrival of the August Kranti Express in which Khan was travelling to promote the movie.
Farheed Khan Pathan, a local politician, suffered a heart attack at the railway station during the stampede-like situation caused by the people who were eager to catch a glimpse of the actor.
Later that year, as reported by Hindustan Times, the Vadodara magisterial court issued summons to Khan based on the complaint of Solanki who stressed over lodging an FIR against the actor.
The Bench, however, questioned the “personal interest” Solanki was taking to needlessly pursue the case and asked him to rest the matter. “It is better to sum up these cases,” said the Bench, dismissing his appeal.
Meanwhile, on the work front, it is safe to say that 2023 will be the year for Shah Rukh Khan fans. He will feature in three films in 2023. Yash Raj Films’ Pathaan directed by Siddharth Anand and co-starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. The film is set to release in January. Next, he will star in Atlee’s Jawan (film) which is releasing in June 2023, and then Rajkumar Hirani‘s Dunki alongside Taapsee Pannu by the year-end.