Salman murder case moves to the Supreme Court
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Salman Khan case has now shifted to New Delhi. The Maharashtra Government has appealed against a Bombay High Court verdict, which acquitted him. The 50 year old Bollywood film star, Salman Khan had stood trial in a hit-and-run case. The incident which happened in September 2002, at Bandra in Mumbai, had led to the death of one person and injured four.
…besides the sole witness (Patil) being pointed to by Sibal, there were scores of other witnesses at the accident spot…
– Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi
The Supreme Court (SC), on Friday, issued notice to Salman Khan, on the Maharashtra government’s petition challenging the December 2015 Bombay High Court verdict acquitting him.
The High Court had on December 10, 2015, acquitted the actor saying that “prosecution has failed to prove the charges against him on all counts”.
The notice is returnable in six weeks. Issuing the notice a bench of Justice Jagjit Singh Khehar and Justice C. Nagappan told Salman that “it would be much, much better if he gets acquittal from this court as it will save him from all the repercussions”.
Earlier, in a related development, on Monday, SC had rejected a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the expenditure of Rs.25 crore by Salman Khan in the hit-and-run case till his acquittal by the Bombay High Court.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]enior counsel Kapil Sibal, appeared for Salman Khan. He took the court through the proceedings of the trial court. Sibal, contended that Khan’s conviction was based on the testimony of police official, which cannot be relied upon.
Sibal said that Mumbai police officer Ravindra Patil – who was Salman’s personal security officer – in his FIR at Bandra police station on the night of the accident did not mention that the Bollywood star was drunk. Even in his subsequent interview to a Mumbai tabloid, he did not say that Salman was drunk, but suddenly four years later – in 2006 – in his testimony before the trial court he said that the actor was drunk.
Sibal said besides that, there was no other evidence before the trial court to convict Salman in the case.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he High Court had said that it was difficult to rely on Patil’s testimony as he was not a “wholly reliable witness”. Also there were variation in his statements in the course of the trial. “Even if Patil’s statement has to be considered as partially reliable, there has to be corroboration in evidence which does not exist in this case,” the high court had said.
Patil who suffered from tuberculosis died in 2007.
Sibal said that Salman’s family driver Ashok Singh was questioned by Mumbai police,but his statement was not recorded.
Sibal pointed to several gaps in the prosecution theory, as well as the flaws in taking the actor’s blood samples and then their storage. He also disputed the police claim that Salman Khan’s car was being driven at the speed of 90 km per hour.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]O[/dropcap]n the other hand, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that besides the sole witness (Patil) being pointed to by Sibal, there were scores of other witnesses at the accident spot, who saw Salman in the driver’s seat of his vehicle that ran over a group of people sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai’s Bandra area. This caused the death of one of the people run over.