Salman Khan’s hit-and-run case files damaged in Mantralaya fire

Bollywood actor Salman Khan is out on bail after his conviction in the infamous hit-and-run case, but any records pertaining to the case were not available with the Maharashtra government, an activist said.

Right To Information (RTI) activist Mansoor Darvesh has revealed that the files related to the September 28, 2002 case were damaged in a devastating blaze that engulfed Mantralaya, the state government headquarters in south Mumbai, on June 21, 2012.

Mansoor had filed the RTI query to the State’s Home and Law & Judiciary departments seeking information on the total number of counsels, lawyers, solicitors, legal advisors, public prosecutors, etc. engaged and appointed by the state government to fight the case.

He even asked for the total expenses incurred by the government on the case from its beginning in 2002 till the Mumbai sessions court’s judgement on May 6, 2015.

However, the government responded with partial information stating that the documents related to the case were burnt in the 2012 fire and “therefore, it cannot be made available,” Mansoor added. The State only had information about the appointment of the last (current) Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat in September 2014 who was being paid a fee of Rs.6,000 per hearing, he said.

“Interestingly, the state officials had promised to reconstruct all the destroyed files, but till date it has not managed to do so. Salman Khan’s case is one such example. The government is unaware how much expenditure it has incurred during the course of the case,” the RTI activist said.

The actor was accused of ramming his car on to a pavement outside a bakery in Bandra and killing one person and injuring four others in the early hours of September 28, 2002.

On May 6, the actor was convicted in the 12-year-old case by a Mumbai sessions court of ‘culpable homicide, not amounting to murder’ and sentenced him to a five-year jail term.

Salman appealed against the sessions court ruling in the Bombay High Court which suspended the sentence on May 8 and granted him bail.