SC accepts plea challenging Bombay HC order of Salman Khan’s acquittal in hit-and-run case
 Source : Agencies  Date : 05-Jul-2016

New Delhi, July 5: Tension seems to roar over actor Salman Khan once again as Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted a plea by Maharashtra Government which challenges the Bombay High Court verdict of acquitting the Bollywood star.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on behalf of the Maharashtra Government urged for putting the hearing on fast track, an appeal which was refused by the bench. The bench further advised to approach the Chief Justice of India for the same. Defence lawyer Kapil Sibal agreed for the case to be heard on the basis of merit and said he has no objection regarding this.  

On December 10, the Bombay high court had acquitted the 49-year-old star of all the charges, holding that the prosecution had failed to prove he was driving the vehicle after having consumed alcohol. Earlier AG Rohtagi had described the high court ruling as perverse and said the theory that the car was being driven by Khan's driver should be discarded because the driver statement came years after the incident Salman had been acquitted by the Bombay High Court in December 2015 and later in February this year, the Supreme Court sent a notice to Salman, asking why his acquittal should not be overturned.

The Maharashtra Government had on January 22 filed a petition in the apex court against the Bombay High Court's judgement acquitting Salman of all charges, overturning the trial court's order sentencing him for five years.

Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced that his government would challenge the high court's verdict on merit. Salman was given a clean chit in the case with the Bombay High court observing that the main witness was wholly unreliable and that there were discrepancies in the case.

The high court judgment of acquittal came on an appeal by Salman, seven months after he was pronounced guilty by the trial court for running over five people and given 5 year imprisonment punishment. The state prosecutors later said the case was fit for appeal in a higher court. The actor is accused of driving a car under the influence of alcohol and killing one and injuring four others in Bandra, Mumbai, in 2002.