Hit-and-run: SC admits plea against Salman acquittal

New Delhi : The Supreme Court today admitted a plea filed by the Maharashtra government challenging the acquittal of Bollywood film star Salman Khan in a 2002 hit-and-run case. A division bench, headed by Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and comprising Justice Arun Mishra, admitted the plea of the Maharashtra government. It, however, refused to fast-track the hearing in the case. On September 28, 2002, Shaikh Noorulla Shafik was killed on the spot and four others were seriously injured when the 50-year-old actor's Land Cruiser crashed into men sleeping on that night in a pavement outside a bakery in Bandra. On May 6, 2015, Salman Khan was found guilty in the case.

The Sessions Court in Mumbai had found him guilty for various charges, including the culpable homicide not amounting to murder of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The lower court order was challenged by the actor in the Bombay High Court. In December last year, the High Court had acquitted the actor, saying there was not enough evidence to convict him that he was drunk that night and was driving the car. The Bollywood 'bhaijaan' was granted bail by the High Court on the very same day he was convicted and sentenced by the sessions court. The Maharashtra government had termed his acquittal a "travesty of justice". Arguing for the state, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had described the High Court ruling as "perverse" and said the theory that the car was being driven by Salman Khan's driver should be discarded.

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