Chinkara Killing: HC quashes FIR against Aamir Khan and 4 others

Gujarat High Court granted relief to Aamir Khan and four others who were charged in Chingara killing. The case against the actor and four others were declined. The Gujarat High Court has dismissed the criminal proceedings against Aamir Khan, director Ashutosh Gowariker and three technical experts, who were framed in killing of rare species Chinkara in 2000 during the shooting of ‘Lagaan’ in Kutch district of Gujarat.

"This case falls in the category of rarest of rare cases as it leads to insurmountable harassment, agony and pain to the petitioners, as well as to their reputation only on the imagination of the complainant (forest official) of unknown facts," acting chief justice V M Sahai said while quashing the complaint filed under the Wildlife Protection Act. "There is no evidence; the complaint is false, frivolous, imaginary and absurd."

An assistant conservator of forest, Kutch range, J E Vyas, had filed the complaint against the film cast way back in 2005 and the government also backed it, saying the officer had seen the killing of the chinkara in ‘Lagaan’ while Aamir's counsel argued that the chinkara scene was created in the studio through visual effects by taking shots from different angles.

“Except the movie there is no evidence that there has been killing of Chinkara. There has to be some legal evidence to book someone. Except a scene from the movie there is no proof in the complaint that Chinkara was shot,” said Khan’s lawyer.

The judge slammed the opposition for filing case on the basis of such “imaginary scenes”.

"It is the rarest of the rare case when an FIR was filed on no evidence against was filed on the basis of imagination of the complainant," the court order said.

After investigation, the court has found that no chinkara was killed in the film in real, it was all done by graphic.

"It is hazardous as a fictional criminal complaint has to be taken by court when a large number of real complaint are pending," the court observed.

"Such frivolous complaint is eating the time of the court and it does not look good on the part of the state," it further said.

After investigation the forest department closed the matter in the year 2000. However, the forest department had to reopen the case after a fresh complaint was filed by Amit Jethwa - an RTI activist. Jethwa was later shot dead in 2010.