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Casteist remark row: Rajasthan HC stays investigation against Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty 

The court has sent a notice to the complainant, Ashok Panwar and the state government, giving them four weeks’ time to reply.

Our Correspondent

In a major relief for actors Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty, the Rajasthan high court has stayed police investigations into the case pertaining to hurting of religious sentiments due to a casteist remark. The court has sent a notice to the complainant, Ashok Panwar, and the state government and given them four weeks’ time to reply.

Khan’s counsel Mahesh Bora said in an official statement: “We told the court that Salman did not use any abusive language pointing to a particular community, but was commenting on his own dancing skills. Due to this act, there is no prima facie case made out against the petitioner under the SC-ST Act,”

Panwar had filed an FIR against Khan and Shetty after he took offence to the usage of the word 'bhangi' by the duo on a reality TV show. Panwar had filed the complaint at the Kotwali police station under sections of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for alleged casteist remarks.

Khan had appeared on a dance reality show where Shetty is a judge. After watching Khan dance, Shetty had casually remarked that he danced like a bhangi, to which Khan had replied that the actress looks like one at home.

The word bhangi is used to describe sweepers, who mainly hail from the Valmiki community. Following Panwar’s complaint, Khan had filed a petition seeking to quash the complaint.