HC acquittal of Salman travesty of justice: M'rashtra

A-G tells SC it's reversal of conviction

HC acquittal of Salman travesty of justice: M'rashtra
The Maharashtra government on Friday told the Supreme Court that the Bombay High Court’s acquittal of actor Salman Khan in the 2002-hit-and-run case was complete “travesty of justice”.

It claimed that the high court ignored the statements of important witnesses including actor’s bodyguard Ravindra Patil. After hearing arguments by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi for about 40 minutes, a bench of Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan, however, said, “We are still making up our minds… we must remember it is an appeal against an acquittal.”

Rohatgi, on his part, submitted the apex court had very wide powers under Article 136 of the Constitution. He said there is no restriction on this court to entertain an appeal against acquittal.

Moreover, this is not just a case of acquittal but a case of reversal of conviction, he added. He said that the appeal must be admitted and notice must be sent to Salman. The court fixed February 12 as the next date of hearing. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the actor, said he also has a lot to say and counter arguments by Rohatgi.

Salman, awarded five-year jail term by the trial court, was acquitted by the high court in last December. The state government questioned the high court’s conclusion that it was not clear who was driving the Land Cruiser on September 28, 2002 when the SUV ran over a man sleeping on the pavement, leaving him dead.

Rohatgi read out statements of two witnesses, contending there were only three persons in the car — Salman, his friend Kamal Khan and actor’s bodyguard Ravindra Patil.

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