The Supreme Court on Friday directed film actor Salman Khan to respond to the appeal filed by the Maharashtra government against his acquittal by the Bombay High Court in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
A Bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and C. Nagappan issued notice to Mr. Khan while noting that a decision by the Supreme Court would give finality in the 14-year-old case.
“In case you [Salman Khan] are acquitted from here, you will be vindicated once and for all,” Justice Khehar remarked.
The State has represented that the High Court's judgment was a “complete travesty of justice”.
Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, for the State, submitted that the High Court chose to discard the versions of the police and injured persons pointing to Mr. Khan as the person behind the wheel of the killer-vehicle.
Mr. Rohatgi said alcohol content in blood samples taken from Mr. Khan even after 12 hours from the incident registered double the permissible limits.
Mr. Rohatgi said that besides Mr. Khan, his singer friend Kamaal Khan and a constable was inside the vehicle and there are statements which amply suggested that the actor was driving.
The AG had earlier referred to verdicts including the BMW hit-and-run case involving Delhi businessman Sanjeev Nanda and sought issuance of notice to Mr. Khan.
The incident in September 2002 led to the death of one person and injured four near Bandra in Mumbai.
The court observed that Salman could be vindicated once and for all.