The Bombay high court on Thursday cleared Bollywood actor Salman Khan in a hit-and-run crash that killed one person 13 years ago, acquitting him of all charges after he appealed his conviction.
Delivering the verdict in a packed courtroom, justice AR Joshi said the actor “cannot be convicted” on the basis of the evidences produced by the prosecution in the trial. Here are five observations made by the court that went in Khan’s favour:
1) “The prosecution has failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt that Salman Khan was driving and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.”
2) “An adverse inference must necessarily be drawn against the prosecution for not examining eye-witness singer Kamal Khan.”
3) “No witness except Ravindra Patil said that Salman Khan was driving the car at the time of the accident. But, Patil not a wholly reliable witness.”
4) “Wrong perception created that driver Ashok Singh came at fag end of the trial before the sessions court. The sessions court too got carried away by such a perception of belated deposition.”
5) “It was an erroneous application of the Evidence Act by the trial court and thus, Ravindra Patil’s evidence cannot be considered.”
The court, however, rejected the defence contention that victim Nurullah Mahboob Khan died due to a crane crash and not due to the accident involving Khan.
Khan’s counsel Amit Desai said: “After 13 long years, the verdict is a big relief for Salman Khan. It is a full acquittal.”
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said after the verdict the government will decide the further course of action after examining the verdict.
Read: I wasn’t drunk, didn’t drive car: Salman Khan’s statement to court