The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea filed by a man, who was injured in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan, challenging the Bollywood star’s acquittal by the Bombay High Court.
A bench, comprising Justices J S Khehar and D Y Chandrachud, dismissed the plea filed by petitioner M Niyamat Shaikh and his family seeking setting aside of the high court judgement and a direction to the 50-year-old actor and Maharashtra government to pay compensation for their survival.
“The matter is before us. The state of Maharashtra is already in appeal before us,” the bench said. When lawyer Shiva Kumar Tripathi, appearing for Shaikh, said the victim had not been paid any compensation, the bench responded by saying that filing an appeal for that, is not a remedy.
The special leave petition (SLP) filed by the injured man had claimed that the high court has wrongly acquitted Salman by “ignoring the material points with regard to the statement of the petitioner before the police and the trial court” which had sentenced him to five years rigorous imprisonment.
The petition had said the high court was not justified in not attributing knowledge on part of Salman in driving the vehicle at a fast speed and under the influence of liquor, treating it as a pure and simple accident and not considering it as a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 Part-II of the IPC.
The Maharashtra government has already challenged Salman’s acquittal and sought restoration of trial court’s decision. 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 judgment 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.