Actor Salman Khan on Thursday appeared in a special court as prosecution witness against gangster Chhota Shakeel’s henchman Anjum Fazlani, in connection with his film, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, which was allegedly funded by the underworld.
Khan came to the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in a black shirt and grey trousers. Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian said: “Khan told the court he may have met Fazlani but couldn’t remember due to the lapse of time.”
The prosecution said Fazlani, on the orders of Shakeel, had allegedly threatened Khan to reduce his fee for the film — which was financed by diamond merchant Bharat Shah — or face dire consequences.
Khan also told the court that the film’s producer Nazim Rizwi, and assistant producer Abdul Rahim Allahbaksh had approached him for the lead role. Khan said he had agreed on condition that an established director helmed the film.
Khan was the first witness in the case against Fazlani and Tarun Shah, Bharat Shah’s former secretary.
In the first leg of the trial in 2003, the MCOCA court had convicted Rizvi and his Allahbaksh under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, while Shah was convicted under the Indian Penal Code for deliberately concealing information from the police, and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment, which was later set off. Fazlani, who was absconding at the time, was deported from Dubai in 2006.
In 2003, when Khan appeared as witness, he had not supported the prosecution’s case and had turned hostile. He had told the court he had not got any threat to act in the film.
However, in his police statement, he had said Rizwi had threatened him saying he had to act in the film after Khan claimed non-availability of dates due to his busy schedule. The prosecution had said the film was produced by Rizwi and financed by Shah at Shakeel’s behest.
The court at the time had recorded the evidence of 14 people from the film industry. Thirteen of them turned hostile and only actress Preity Zinta had supported the prosecution’s case. Those summoned included actor Shah Rukh Khan, director Rakesh Roshan, Ratan Jain, Harish Sughand, director Mahesh Manjrekar and director Sanjay Gupta.