After he was recently acquitted in a 13-year-old case of hit-and-run that resulted in the death of a man who was sleeping on the pavement, Bollywood super star Salman Khan's legal troubles are far from over. The Maharashtra government has decided to challenge the verdict of the Bombay High Court acquitting Khan of all charges in the 2002 case by taking the matter to the Supreme Court.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government was studying the December 10 Bombay HC verdict.
The government told the High Court of its decision to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court to appeal against the acquittal of Khan by Justice A R Joshi, who had completely reversed the trial court judgement that sentenced the actor to five years in jail.
The court had asked the government whether it planned to take action against police officers for dereliction of duty, reported Indian Express.
The Law and Judiciary department had accorded sanction to the prosecution to file SLP in the Supreme Court, government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani told a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Gautam Patel.
The SLP would be filed in due course, Vagyani said during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by senior journalist Nikhil Wagle seeking compensation from Khan for victims of the 2002 hit-and-run mishap.
Justice A R Joshi, on December 10, had acquitted Khan of all the charges on the ground that the prosecution had failed to prove that the actor was driving the car under the influence of liquor. On May 6, a sessions court had sentenced the actor to five years jail after it held him guilty of offences including culpable homicide not amount to murder.
According to the prosecution's case, on September 28, 2002, Salman had rammed his car into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one person and injuring four others who were sleeping outside.
Although the actor has already deposited compensation for the families of victims as directed by the High Court, but Wagle's petition is still being heard as the court expanded its scope to include the issue of enhancement of punishment in accident cases.
During the hearing of Wagle's PIL today, the HC framed some issues and sought an answer from the Government.
The bench wanted to know from the pleader what type of devices were available with the authorities to hold blood analysis test of accused in hit-and-run cases to determine consumption of alcohol. The bench also sought to know within how much time is the blood test conducted in accident cases.
To this, Vagyani replied that the first five to seven hours after the mishap was the crucial period when ideally such examination is done and it is also prescribed in the Police Manual and Drugs and Physcotrophic Substances Act. The HC, however, wanted to know whether there are any guidelines framed in this regard.
The matter has been posted for hearing in January after the vacations. (Inputs from PTI)
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