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Bombay High Court Acquits Salman Khan In 2002 Hit-And-Run Case

On the basis of evidence submitted by the prosecution, the 49-year-old actor cannot be convicted, the judge said

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The Bombay High Court acquitted film star Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case, and quashed his conviction and five-year sentence.

On the basis of evidence submitted by the prosecution, the 49-year-old actor could not be convicted, the judge said.

"On basis of evidences produced by the prosecution, the appellant cannot be convicted, no matter how differently the common man thinks," the court said on Thursday.

Salman, surrounded by his family members, broke down after hearing the verdict.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday observed that the prosecution had failed to prove that the actor had consumed liquor and was driving the Toyota Land Cruiser when the mishap occurred.

Justice A.R. Joshi, who heard Khan's appeal against the five-year sentence awarded to him by a sessions court, also expressed doubts over the statement of eyewitness Ravindra Patil, former police bodyguard of of the actor, recorded by a magistrate, in which he had implicated the actor.

The judge said that Patil was a wholly unreliable witness because he had made improvements subsequently in his statement given to a magistrate.

In the FIR filed soon after the mishap, he did not implicate Salman but in the statement he said that Salman was driving under the influence of liquor.

The Judge also expressed a view that the prosecution should have examined Kamaal Khan, singer friend of Salman, who was with him in the car when the mishap occurred on September 28, 2002.

The court was delivering judgement on the third day in a row on an appeal filed by Salman against the five-year sentence awarded to him by a Mumbai Sessions Court on May 6.

As far as the deposition of Ashok Singh, the family driver of Salim Khan, is concerned, it was as per rules and laid down procedures of criminal law, the court said.


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