Home / News / India /  Shah Rukh Khan gets relief in 2017 stampede case: SC says ‘Celebrities have equal rights’

Celebrities have the same rights that normal citizens enjoy and cannot be made vicariously culpable, the Supreme Court on Monday said while it declined to revive criminal charges against actor Shah Rukh Khan. Apparently, a case was lodged against Shah Rukh claiming that the superstar was responsible for triggering a melee at Vadodara railway station in 2017 while promoting his film, Raees, during which a man had died of a heart attack.

“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 Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice CT Ravikumar said while rejecting the plea 

The court said Khan could not be expected to ensure everyone’s safety or provide 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," it emphasised.

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."

For the uninitiated, 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. Farheed Khan Pathan, a local politician, suffered a heart attack at the railway station during the stampede-like situation caused by the people eager to catch a glimpse of the actor. 

The complainant, Jitendra Madhubhai Solanki had filed a private complaint against Khan before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Vadodara, alleging his presence at the Vadodara Railway Station coupled with him throwing T-shirts and smiley balls at the crowd assembled at the station led to the alleged stampede.

Later that year, Shah Rukh was summoned by Vadodara magisterial court based on the complaint. 

The local court issued summons to Khan after noting that there was sufficient ground for proceedings against him in the case under sections 336, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly committing acts endangering the life or personal safety of others and causing simple and grievous hurt to them by such acts.

However, on April 27, 2022, Gujarat High Court ordered quashing the criminal case against the actor. The high court also pointed out that Khan had the administration’s permission to promote the event

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