Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Saturday pleaded guilty through his lawyers to the charges of smoking publicly at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here during an Indian Premier League match last month and sought exemption from appearing personally before a court, a lawyer said.The additional chief judicial metropolitan magistrate had summoned Shah Rukh to appear before his court May 26 on a complaint that he publicly smoked at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium while watching the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders April 8.
According to a Rajasthan law, an offender could face maximum imprisonment of six months or a maximum fine of Rs.200 for smoking in public.
Shah Rukh, who is co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders team, was represented by three lawyers.
“Khan’s lawyers filed an application under section 206 and 253 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), pleading guilty to the charges under the Rajasthan Prevention of Smoking Act and seeking exemption for Khan’s personal appearance before the court,” said lawyer Nem Singh Rathore, who filed the complaint on behalf of Jaipur Cricket Academy director Anand Singh Rathore.
Shah Rukh’s lawyers said it was a petty offence and their client was ready to pay the fine imposed under the law.
Nem Singh Rathore added that he objected to exempting Shah Rukh from personal appearance before the court. “The court will hear further arguments June 21,” he said.
“Smoking publicly is banned in Rajasthan since 2000 under the Rajasthan Prevention of Smoking Act. However, Shah Rukh Khan was smoking publicly in front of thousands of spectators. The actor was broadcast live while smoking on the TV channel which was showing the match,” he added.
The lawyer said that spectators were being allowed into the stadium only after frisking.
“Police were confiscating any objectionable items, including cigarettes, while frisking. However, it seems Shah Rukh was allowed to carry the cigarette packet into the stadium which is negligence on part of police also,” the complainant said.
The court has fixed June 21 for next hearing in the case.