The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea seeking a CBI probe into the 2002 hit-and-run case on the ground that corrupt means have been adopted in securing the acquittal of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.
“These are all wild allegations. He must have spent Rs 25 crore on lawyers,” a bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and R Banumathi observed when the lawyer said there were news reports quoting Salim Khan that they had to spend Rs 25 crore in securing acquittal for his actor son.
“What are the materials to substantiate this? They must have hired lawyers. How can you say that they did something wrong,” it said and dismissed the PIL filed by advocate M L Sharma.
The PIL had alleged that Salman and others had “succeeded” in manipulating “police and judicial system” in the case.
The same bench is hearing appeals filed by Maharashtra government and the family of the victim, who were killed in the incident, against the acquittal of Salman in the case.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who represents the state government in the case, had argued that Salman was driving his SUV in a drunken state when it ran over the victims sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai in 2002.
He had also debunked the theory that instead of Salman, his driver Ashok Brahmadev Singh was driving the Toyota Land Cruiser on the night of September 28, 2002 when it crashed into a Bandra pavement, killing one and injuring four others.
The high court, in its verdict passed on December 10 last year, had held that 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 judgement by the high court had come on an appeal by Khan, seven months after he was pronounced guilty by the trial court.
The magistrate’s court had conducted the trial for a much lesser offence of causing death by rash and negligent driving.
On May 6 last year, a sessions court had convicted Salman in the case.