In a huge relief for actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit and run case, the Bombay High Court on Thursday overturned the trial court's judgement, and said that he cannot be convicted.
The High Court had asked Khan to furnish two bonds of Rs 25,000 within two weeks for completion of formalities, and has also asked the police to return his passport.
The court had said on Wednesday that the prosecution failed on all accounts to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Salman Khan was behind the wheel when the accident took place. The court also said there is no evidence of drunkenness as the prosecution failed to prove it.
It has "come to the conclusion that the prosecution has failed to bring material on record to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant (Salman Khan) was driving and under the influence of alcohol, also, whether the accident occurred due to bursting (of tyre) prior to the incident or tyre burst after the incident," said the court.
Further, the evidence of Ravindra Patil, who was Salman Khanâ€™s bodyguard, is not admissible as he is not a â€śwholly reliable witnessâ€ť, said the court. Patil is a Mumbai Police constable who had been assigned as Khanâ€™s bodyguard and witnessed the accident. He died in 2007.
â€śIt is the considered view of the court that only this witness (Patil) said that the vehicle was driven by the accused. Apart from this witness, no other witness said that the accused was driving,â€ť said the judge.
In the first week of May 2015, Additional Sessions Judge DW Deshpande had convicted Khan and had sentenced him to five years in jail. Two days later, the Bombay HC suspended the actorâ€™s sentence pending appeal and gave him bail. He was found guilty of killing Nurullah Sharif, and injuring four others after a white Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into the American Express Bakery in Bandra, in the early hours of September 28, 2002. The court had then found him guilty on eight charges including Section 304 of the IPC for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
You can read more here.