Salman case: Victim's family seeks compensation

Salman case: Victim's family seeks compensation

Family members of a man, killed in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan, on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court, seeking compensation and challenging the Bombay HC order acquitting the Bollywood star.

Begumjaha Haroon Khan (48) and Firoz Sheikh (25), wife and son of Sheikh Noorullah Shafik submitted that they have suffered immensely since the death of the eldest family member after being run over by the Land Cruiser on September 28, 2002 in Mumbai.

Poverty
Living in a slum without even the basic amenities, both claimed they sustained by doing menial work without any permanent source of income.

Citing the SC ruling in Suresh and Anr Vs State of Haryana (2015), the petitioners through their counsel P B Suresh and Vipin Nair contended that the courts ought to have granted compensation to them as enjoined under Section 357 or 357 A of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Victim’s side
“It has been categorically held that there exists a mandatory duty on the court to grant compensation to the victim in every criminal case, either under Section 357 or 357 A of the CrPC, as the case may be, irrespective of the guilt or otherwise of the accused so as to reassure the victim that he or she is not forgotten in the criminal justice system,” the petitioner stated.

Besides seeking compensation, the petitioners also claimed the High Court had in December erred in ignoring testimony of Salman's bodyguard constable Ravindra Patil and rejecting the evidence on him having consumed alcohol while acquitting the actor of the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Case continues
“The respondent No 1 (Salman) did not have a valid driving license at the time of the incident and his guilt was further apparent as he ran from the scene of the crime,” the petitioners contended.

The Maharashtra government had on February 5 contended HC’s order reversing the trial court's judgment holding Salman guilty and awarding him five-year jail term was complete travesty of justice. The court had fixed February 12 as the next date of hearing.


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