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Salman Khan hit and run verdict: Sad day for the Indian criminal judiciary system, says Advocate Abha Singh

MUMBAI(ANI): Advocate Abha Singh on Thursday said exonerating Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in connection with the 2002 hit-and-run case was appalling and a sad day for the Indian criminal judiciary system.

Salman Khan

“Coming to Salman Khan’s thing, when the issues on same facts on which the session court gave him a punishment of five years, it found him guilty. The chemical analyst report which found that alcohol content in Salman Khan’s case was adequate. If the court is not ready to look into these statements than one can only say that it is a sad day for the criminal justice system of the country ‘it really shows that it is a appalling for the Indian judiciary system,’ Singh said.

“Those policeman and the persecution should be arrested instead of Salman Khan if they made a wrong case. If High Court says that the police and the prosecution made a wrong case then I would request the honorable High Court to arrest those people, you cannot make mockery of the judiciary system,” she added.

Singh further marked that how a star witness like Kamal Khan was dropped out of this case.

“Even warrant was not issue to him (Kamal Khan) to bring him back to India. and this is what have benefitted Salman Khan. Also if now the court says that the driver came at a late stage where in the statement of Salman khan is it there that it was Ashok Singh who was driving the vehicle and not Salman Khan,” she added.

Senior advocate Singh said that these are very glaring issues and Maharashtra Government must look into the matter if it wants to clear the name of Mumbai police and prosecution.

“Maharashtra police must go and appeal so that the country needs to know what the truth is, police and prosecution have not live up to the reputation. The faith in the judiciary system must be restored,” she added.

Salman Khan had run over a group of persons who were sleeping in front of a suburban bakery on the pavement on 28 September, 2002. It led to the death of one, while four others were injured.

A court held Khan prima facie guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and rejected his plea to drop the charge before framing charges against him. A chemical analyst who had tested his blood had told a court in May 2010 that Khan was under the influence of alcohol when he had the accident. The test found 62 mg of alcohol in his blood.

Salman Khan’s police bodyguard Ravindra Patil had deposed saying that Salman was at the wheel and he was drunk. He further said he had asked the actor not to drink that night as it may prove dangerous while driving but the actor did not pay heed to his advice. He subsequently changed his statement and was declared a hostile witness by the prosecution. Patil was also suspended from the police force. Patil later died of tuberculosis.

Another witness from the bakery, Ramasrey Pandey, who was injured in the accident also turned hostile and told the court that he had not seen the actor behind the wheel of the SUV. Other witnesses in the case are employees of the JW Marriot Hotel where the actor had gone just before the accident.

Salman Khan’s driver Ashok Singh also appeared before the court and said it was he, and not the actor, behind the wheels of the SUV on the night of the incident. Singh also told the court that a tyre burst had caused the accident.

Maharashtra Government had approached the Supreme Court which set aside the order of both Sessions Court and HC.

Salman was charged with culpable homicide, a charge which was later dropped. But, again in January 2013, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate V S Patil slapped the charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ on the actor and referred the case to Sessions Court for trial.

Salman was being tried under section 304 (I), (rash and negligent driving) which attracts maximum punishment of two years. Section 304 (II) attracts the maximum sentence of ten years.

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