The Maharashtra government Friday challenged in the Supreme Court the acquittal of actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case, which left one person dead.
“…The (Bombay) High Court has not concluded as to who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident,” stated the state government’s appeal, adding that the evidence of all injured witnesses was important and had “more probative value being victims of the incident.”
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Filed through Maharashtra’s chief standing counsel Nishant R Katneshwarkar, the petition also refuted the HC finding that the probe was conducted to weaken the prosecution’s case.
Instead, “the HC has not appreciated the evidence on record in its proper perspective,” said the state police. They claimed a “hypothesis” was recorded while acquitting Salman of charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, grievous hurt, drunken driving etc.
Asking the apex court to set aside the acquittal order, it disputed the High Court’s observation that the investigation was conducted in a careless and faulty manner, claiming that there were many witnesses who corroborated the charges against Salman adequately.
The appeal said evidence of complainant Ravindra Patil, who was with Salman in the Toyota Land Cruiser, was legally tenable and its rejection was wrong. Patil was the actor’s bodyguard who had said Salman was driving drunk and had ignored his warnings. Patil died of tuberculosis in 2007 and when the High Court examined his testimonies, it held the evidence was not admissible under law.
Further, the petition said the prosecution could not have been indicted for non-examination of Kamaal Khan in the trial court, who was also in the SUV on September 28, 2002. It said the HC had also ignored the “conduct” of Salman as he did not make any attempt to report the incident to police or help the victims.