The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to actor Salman Khan on the Maharashtra government’s appeal against his acquittal in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
Admitting the petition by the state government for consideration, a bench of Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan told his counsel senior advocate Kapil Sibal that the exoneration from the top court would “vindicate him once and for all”. The court said it is better for him to get a well-considered acquittal.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state, assailed the Bombay High Court’s order of December last acquitting the actor. He said that the HC erred by holding that the prosecution witness Ravindra Patil, a constable, then acting as bodyguard, was not a “wholly reliable witness”.
The high court took note of the fact that

Patil, while recording his statement in his FIR, had said everything except the fact that Khan was drunk on that fateful night, he said.
“Recording of the FIR is just an information about an incident and the FIR is not an encyclopaedia,” Rohatgi said.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Salman, said that in the FIR lodged by Patil, there was no mention of the actor being drunk. He also pointed out the family driver, Ashok Singh, who deposed as a defence witness, was interrogated by the police but his statement was not recorded. As Sibal contended that Patil had refuted the suggestion that the actor was drunk a day after the accident in 2002 in a newspaper interview, Rohatgi intervened to say the high court had rejected this piece of evidence and it cannot be cited in the apex court.

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