Hit-and-run case: Maha govt to appeal against Salman’s acquittal in SC

It seems that there is no relief for Bollywood superstar Salman Khan even after being freed of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case, with the Maharashtra government deciding to move the Supreme Court against the actor’s acquittal in the case.

Advocate Abhinandan Vagyani on behalf of the state government informed Justices A S Oka and G S Patel of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that the government will move a Special Leave Petition to file the appeal against Salamn’s acquittal from the five-year sentence.

The announcement came in the wake of a case in the Bombay High Court that raised concern about the increasing incidents of drunken driving and lack of stringent penal provisions.

On Monday, December 21, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the state government was studying the December 10 verdict that acquitted the Salman of all charges in the case, before deciding whether to challenge it or not.

“Government is studying the verdict and the state will take a decision," Fadnavis had told reporters without indicating a time-frame by when the state will reach its conclusion on the matter.

The actor was charged of killing one person and injuring four others by ramming his vehicle on pavement dwellers outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on the night of September 28, 2002. A sessions court had on May 6 convicted Salman of the crime and sentenced him to five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25, 000 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Salman appealed against his conviction in the Bombay High Court which overruled the verdict on December 10. Justice A R Joshi acquitted Salman of all the charges, holding that the prosecution had failed to prove he was driving the vehicle and was under the influence of alcohol. He also observed that the prime prosecution witness Ravindra Patil was not ‘wholly reliable’ and that there were several ‘loopholes’ in police’s investigation.