Warrants for Aamir in chinkara case
A Gujarat forest department team has handed over bailable warrants to Mumbai Police against Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, his former wife Reena Dutt, filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker and two others for filming endangered chinkara gazelle in the 2001 Hindi film Lagaan.
Bhuj court Chief Judicial Magistrate SB Patel had recently issued the warrants on a complaint by the Gujarat forest department.
The court issued bailable warrants of Rs 5,000 each for the five who are to be present in court on April 15. The two others facing the court's ire are executive director Srinivas Rao and photographer Ashok Mehta.
Aamir Khan has been accused of violating the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, by filming chinkaras for his movie Lagaan without permission. He is also accused of keeping a chinkara in captivity during the filming. The chinkara later died.
On a complaint by assistant conservator of forests JV Vyas, the Bhuj court issued a bailable warrant.
The forest department re-opened the case following a fresh complaint filed by wildlife NGO Gir Nature Youth Club.
"When the news reached me of open violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, I decided to file a complaint on July 10, 2006," said Amit Jethava of the NGO.
Jethava told IANS that in the past notices were sent only by inquiry officers that had no impact. "Why should notices be sent? He should be arrested and brought before the court."
According to a source in the forest department, Aamir Khan is unlikely to present himself in the Bhuj court on April 15.