The Gujarat High Court today adjourned the hearing on a petition filed by Bollywood actor and producer Aamir Khan and four others in a case related to alleged filming of chinkara, a protected animal, during the shooting for his 2000 blockbuster `Lagaan’.
Justice R D Kothari posted the matter for next hearing on February 20 as Additional Advocate General P K Jani, representing Gujarat government, sought time.
The High Court had, on June 27 last year, initiated final hearing on Aamir’s petition filed in April 2008.
The petition seeks quashing of proceedings started by a judicial magistrate in Bhuj district against Khan and four others for breach of Wildlife (Protection) Act. The complaint in this regard had been filed by the Forest Department.
Under the Act, commercial filming of chinkara without permission is illegal.
`Lagaan’ had been shot in Kutch district.
The judicial magistrate issued bailable warrants against Khan, his former wife Reena Dutta, director Ashutosh Gowarikar, executive director Srinivas Rao and cinematographer Ashok Mehta. But they secured a stay from the High Court.
According to petitioners, they used computer-generated images of the animal and not real shots; a real chinkara was never filmed as the permission was denied.
The Forest Department had earlier closed the case but it was reopened after a fresh complaint was filed by Amit Jetha, an RTI activist. Jetha was killed in 2010, allegedly by the mining mafia.