The final hearing of the petition filed by actor-producer Aamir Khan and four others seeking quashing of proceedings before a magistrate for using shots of a chinkara in his 2001 blockbuster film 'Lagaan' started today.
Justice R D Kothari heard the petition filed by the actor in April 2008. He and four others are facing proceedings in the magistrate's court in Bhuj for alleged breach of Wildlife (Protection) Act.
Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, commercial filming of chinkara without permission is illegal.
Forest department filed the complaint against Khan and others on a complaint filed by slain RTI activist Amit Jethwa.
The Bhuj court had in March 2008 issued bailable warrants against Khan, his former wife Reena Dutta, director Ashutosh Gowarikar, executive director Srinivas Rao and cinematographer Ashok Mehta.
Khan and others then secured a stay from the High Court on the warrants.
The actor's lawyer today argued computer-generated images of the animal were used in the film, and not the shots of a real animal. A real chinkara was never filmed as the permission for it was denied and the forest department obtained warrants without hearing Khan and others, he said.
After hearing the petitioners' lawyer today, the High Court adjourned the hearing to June 30.
The forest department had initially closed the matter after a preliminary inquiry but it reopened it when Jethwa filed a fresh complaint.
Jethwa was shot dead allegedly by mining mafia in 2010.