Victim's family members move SC against Salman's acquittal

Victim's family members move SC against Salman's acquittal

The family members of a man who was killed in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan today moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bollywood star's acquittal by the the Bombay High Court.

The special leave petition (SLP) sought setting aside of the high court judgement and a direction to the 50-year-old actor to pay compensation to the wife and son of deceased Shaikh Noorulla Shaifik.
The petitioners alleged that the high court has made a "serious error" in reversing the well-reasoned judgment of the trial court, which had sentenced Salman to five years in jail. They said they were grievously affected by Salman's actions.

Seeking compensation from the megastar, the family members said the courts below have ignored sections 357 and 357 A of the CrPC which provides for compensation to victims of crime.

The petition said the apex court has held that in every criminal case, it is the mandate and duty of the court to ensure that victims are compensated/rehabilitated on its own motion, even without there being an application by the victim.

The Maharashtra government has already challenged Salman's acquittal and sought restoration of trial court's decision.

It has said that among the errors committed by the high court was non-consideration of evidence of complainant Ravindra Patil, former police bodyguard of Salman, in its "proper perspective".

The high court, in its verdict passed on December 10 last year, had held that the prosecution had failed to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that the actor was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident and was drunk.

The high court judgement had come on an appeal by Salman, seven months after he was pronounced guilty by trial court of running over five people sleeping on a pavement outside a laundry in suburban Bandra with his Toyota Land Cruiser, killing one and injuring four others on October 28, 2002.

On May 6 last year, a sessions court had convicted Salman in the case in which one person was killed and four others injured after his vehicle crushed them when they were asleep on a pavement.

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