SC dismisses PIL against Shah Rukh Khan

Mumbai: Observing that Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan cannot be targeted merely because of his celebrity status, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition accusing him of building his palatial Mumbai bungalow Mannat in violation of various laws.

A bench of justices DK Jain and AR Dave felt had the petitioners brought to its notice similar purported violations by others in the area, it could have examined the issue, but as the petition was solely aimed against Shah Rukh there was no reason for it to interfere.

The petition filed by two Mumbai residents Simpreet Singh and Amit Maruan, who claimed to be social activists, had alleged that the actor had violated various environmental, coastal regulations zone and archaeological laws in building his bungalow.

"What about others? Why have you selected only one building. Is it because he happens to be a celebrity?

"Did you check as to how many others have constructed similar bungalows and buildings. Why haven`t you done it?," asked Justice Jain, heading the bench, from the petitioners` counsel Munawwar Naseem.

The Bombay High Court had, on January 28, dismissed the PIL filed by the duo and imposed a cost of Rs20,000 on them saying it was a "publicity petition".

The apex court said while the petitioner may be bonafide individuals, yet, if there are 1000 such violators, they cannot pick one person along merely because of his/her celebrity status.

"Why don`t you file against others in respect of similar properties if you are serious about it. If there are 1000 such violations you cannot complain against only one person, " the bench remarked.

Later in a terse order the apex court said, "We find no reason to interfere" with the high court order.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi and others appearing for Khan had, however, contended that there was no violation of rules and the construction was allowed by the municipal body and the high court had rightly dismissed the PIL.

PTI

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