Describing the acquittal of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in a 2002 hit-and-run case a “travesty of justice”, the Maharashtra government argued and sought the Supreme Court to reverse the Bombay High Court order on the ground that Salman was behind the wheels when his SUV mowed down a man who was sleeping on the pavement.Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the state of Maharashtra, told a bench headed by Justice J S Khehar that, “There is every evidence in every stage against Salman. His acquittal is complete travesty of justice,” and described as “perverse” the high court’s December 2015 order, overturning the trial court’s conviction order against the 50-year-old actor.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning Salman’s conduct of not informing the police soon after the incident, Rohatgi said “instead of informing the police and taking the victims to the hospital, he (Salman) ran away from the spot” and added that even the Motor Vehicle Act also mandates that the victim should be given medical attention first. He also pointed out that Salman had consumed liquor and was drunk while driving the Land Cruiser which killed a person sleeping on the pavement.”Even after 12 hours of the accident, his blood sample was found with .6 alcohol content, which is more,” Rohatgi said and pointed out that official record says Salman had no Driving Licence (DL) in 2002 and he had obtained his first DL in 2004.Referring to the trial court order which sentenced him to five years’ jail term after finding guilty, the senior-most law officer of the government said the theory that the car was being driven by Salman’s driver, who surfaced after 13 years, should be discarded.”Not at a single stage, the presence of driver was mentioned by the witnesses in the case and suddenly the defence witness surfaced,” he said.To this submission, the bench asked AG “what was the nature of questions the prosecution had posed to the driver while cross-examining him during the testimony?”Narrating the facts of the case, the Attorney General said that Salman, his body guard (Mumbai police constable Ravindra Patil, who died during the trial), and friend Kamal Khan were the occupants in the SUV.”The high court has ignored the statement given by Patil before the magistrate, but accepted the defence argument that Ashok Brahm Dev Singh was driving the vehicle. Singh was Salman’s father Salim Khan’s driver since 1990 and suddenly he surfaced to give testimony in the case 12 after the incident had happened,” he submitted.After hearing the argument for about 45 minutes, the bench declined to issue notice or pass any interim order saying “because it is an appeal against acquittal, we will make up our mind before passing any order. Whatever you want to argue, you can do that.”It fixed February 12 as next date for further hearing of the case.In May last year, a sessions court had ruled that the actor was guilty of running over a man sleeping on the pavement outside American bakery in Mumbai after a night out drinking on September 28, 2002.The high court reversed the order saying that the prosecution had failed to establish beyond doubt that the actor was driving and was drunk at the time of the accident.’Maha govt holds good chance’Women’s rights activist and lawyer Abha Singh on Friday said the Maharashtra government holds a good chance in the hit-and-run case involving Salman Khan as the Bombay High Court has erred by citing loopholes and not going into the legal merits of this matter.
Originally posted here –