In a relief for Bollywood actor Fardeen Khan, a special court granted him immunity from prosecution in the 2001 drug case here today.
"Fardeen is hereby declared immune from prosecution at this stage," observed the special judge G A Sanap.
However, the special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court made it clear that if he is arrested for a similar offence in the future, the immunity against him shall be withdrawn.
In October last year, charges were framed against Khan under the NDPS Act, for attempting to buy cocaine in 2001.
After the charges were framed, Khan underwent a de-toxification course at a state-run hospital and filed an application seeking immunity in the case.
The actor had been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) from Juhu area of the city in May 2001. Nasir Shaikh, who allegedly sold him the drug and Tony Gomes, who allegedly supplied it to Shaikh, were also arrested with him.
Outside the court, the visibly relieved Khan told the media persons that he is grateful to the judge. "I am extremely grateful to the judge for accepting my application", Khan said.
"I and my family are relieved. Had my father (Feroz Khan) been alive, he, too, would have been happy," Khan said.