The Maharashtra government does not have any "information" on Bollywood actor Salman Khan's 2002 hit-and-run case as the files pertaining to it were gutted in a fire at Mantralaya, an RTI query has revealed.
This was disclosed to Mansoor Darvesh, a city-based RTI activist, who had sought to know from the state Law and Judiciary department, the names and the total number of counsels, solicitors, advocates and legal advisors, public prosecutors appointed by the state government for this case.
Darvesh was informed that the files pertaining to the case were burnt on June 21, 2012, when a fire engulfed the state secretariat and therefore, they cannot be made available.
To his query on total expenses incurred by the state government in the case from 2002 to May 6 this year, when the judgement was pronounced in the case, Darvesh was told that "the only thing that the government knows is about the appointment of special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat who was appointed at a fee of Rs 6,000 per hearing."
"The government had promised to the people that all files that got destroyed in the fire will be reconstructed. But, here is a blatant example of the inefficiency of the government. There might be many more such important cases that will reach no conclusion as we do not know the facts of those cases," Darvesh told PTI.
On May 6, a sessions court in Mumbai had convicted Salman Khan for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the 2002 hit-and-run case and sentenced him to five years' imprisonment.
The Bombay high court had on May 8 granted the actor bail and suspended his sentence pending hearing and final disposal of his appeal against conviction
A man was killed and four others were wounded when Khan's Toyota Land Cruiser ran over them while they were asleep on a pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002.