The Maharashtra State Commission of Women (MSCW) on Thursday issued a third summon to actor Salman Khan to appear before it. The actor had failed to appear before the panel despite being issued a second summon. If he does not appear before the panel even the third time, it has powers to issue an arrest warrant against him.
The summons have been issued over remarks Salman made about the gruelling time he endured during the shooting of his just-released film "Sultan." He had said: "When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be like a raped woman walking out." People from many quarters had taken exception to this remark.
The panel had initially summoned Salman on June 29, but he did not appear before it. The panel then summoned him again on July 7, a day after his film "Sultan" released.
MSCW Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar told International Business Times, India, that Salman did not appear before the panel despite the second summon. "Instead, we got a letter from his legal counsel today [Thursday] morning, in which he reiterated what he had said last time: That the matter was pending before the National Commission for Women (NCW), and that he did not want duplication in the matter."
She added: "However, we have told him again that we have concurrent powers, and since he is a resident of Maharashtra, he has to appear in person before the MSCW."
Speaking about the powers the MSCW has if a person does not respond to the three summons from it, Rahatkar told IBTimes India: "We have powers under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990, the Code of Criminal Procedure as well as the Indian Penal Code to issue an arrest warrant against such a person."
However, she refused to comment on whether Salman would be issued an arrest warrant, saying that nothing had been decided on it. She told IBTimes India: "We have given him an opportunity. If he does not take it, we will proceed according to the law."
Meanwhile, Salman has been summoned by the NCW to appear before it on Friday, July 8, just two days after "Sultan" — also starring Anushka Sharma and Randeep Hooda — was released. The movie released on Wednesday, July 6, in order to take advantage of the long Eid weekend.
Salman had received yet another jolt recently, when the Supreme Court had agreed to hear a plea against his acquittal by the Mumbai High Court — then the Bombay High Court — in the 2002 hit-and-run case.