• LAWGIC STRATUM

SALMAN KHAN HIT AND RUN CASE ANALYSIS

AUTHOR: AKHILA ANAND



INTRODUCTION


Salim Abdul Rashid Salman Khan, often known as Salman Khan, affectionately known as Bhai by his admirers is one of the most popular and commercially successful performers in the Hindi cinema business (Bollywood). Aside from his films, the actor has been in the headlines for a variety of reasons, including his scandals, such as his 2002 hit and run or 2006 blackbuck hunting.


BACKGROUND


On September 28, 2002, Salman Khan's Land Cruiser allegedly ran over five persons sleeping on the sidewalk outside the American Express Bakery on Hill Road in Bandra, killing one and injuring four others.The actor was accused of driving the vehicle by witnesses, but he denied the claim. His blood sample results revealed that he had consumed alcohol more than the limit. He was arrested as a result but was shortly released soon after. He was accused under the Indian Penal Code, the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, and the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949.


On the charges filed by Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court's regulations, the case was initially filed under Section 304A (rash and negligent driving) but was later converted to Section 304 Part (II) (culpable homicide not equal to murder) in 2003. The Sessions Court had previously dismissed the plea and asked the Magistrate to file charges.


Salman Khan stated that he wasn't driving at the time of the accident, but a passenger with him at the time believes that he was not just driving but also under the influence. Furthermore, this person was a police officer. Police Constable Ravindra Patil was his name.Despite,Salman Khan's claims that he was not the driver, he was seen in the driver's seat twice: once in front of a hotel and once at the crime scene. Salman Khan said that this was readily explainable, claiming that he had changed to the driver's seat to sit in the A/C while waiting for a new driver to arrive in front of the hotel.Khan explained at the crime scene that he had to escape from the driver's side because the passenger door had been slammed shut by the collision


LEGAL PROVISIONS


  • 304A. Causing death by negligence. - Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.[1]

  • Section 337, 338 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 -Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.Causing grievous hurt by an act endangering the life or personal safety of others.[2]

  • Motor Vehicles Act- Accused was not holding a valid license and therefore he also committed an offense punishable under Section 181 of Act [3]

  • Accused failed to provide medical help to injured and failed to give information or report to the police about incident thereby accused committed offense punishable u/s 187 of Act [4]

  • There was alcohol noticed which was exceeding the prescribed limit, therefore, the accused is guilty under Section 185 of Act [5]

  • Bombay Prohibition Act-Driving vehicle in an intoxicated state


TIMELINE OF THE CASE


  • 2002:Sept, On September 28, 2002, Salman Khan's Land Cruiser allegedly ran over five persons sleeping on the sidewalk outside the American Express Bakery on Hill Road in Bandra, killing one and injuring four others. Khanwasarrested and released on bail.

  • 2003: March Salman khan challenged the application of Section 304 -II and the sessions court rejected the plea, further he moved to Bombay HC, and which stated Section 304-II was not applicable the Maharashtra government challenged the HC order in Supreme Court and SC said that the Magistrate Court may decide whether Section 304-II can be applied or not

  • 2012: Magistrate court added Section 304-II, sends back the case to the Sessions Court.

  • 2013: Sessions court frames charges against Khan under culpable homicide not amounting to murder and Khan pleaded for a fresh trial.

  • Finally in 2015Trial Court finds Salman Khan guilty and sentences him to five years’ imprisonment.in July of the same year,the HC hearing began, and lastly,in December 2015 Bombay High Court acquits Salman Khan.

  • In 2016, The Maharashtra Government's appeal against his acquittal was accepted by the Supreme Court.


JUDGMENT


On 10th December 2015, the Court dismissed the testimony of eyewitness Ravindra Patil, concluding that the prosecution had failed to establish the actor's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It was impossible to prove that the actor was inebriated or driving while under the influence of alcohol.According to Justice Joshi, the prosecution failed to prove its case against the appellant on all counts. The prosecution bears the burden of proof, which is to show that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonabledoubt.Therefore, the Court granted Salman Khan's Criminal Appeal and set aside the challenged judgment of the Sessions Court. As a result, he was found not guilty of all charges.


CONCLUSION


After 13 long years of trial, the Court acquitted Salman Khan of all the charges. Since the facts were not established properly due to the negligence of the officers the person who was driving the vehicle that day remains a mystery till now. There was a dearth in the case because the direct evidence was due to the death of the principal witness, Ravindra Patil, and the Court cannot convict a person solely based on circumstantial evidence, especially when the prosecution has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. A court must resolve a case based on the record and evidence that can be recognized as evidence according to the legal system, not on public opinion or media pressure. As a result, the media's view does not weigh a court of law.


REFERENCES

[1]http://www.bareactslive.com/ACA/ACT225.HTM [2]http://www.bareactslive.com/ACA/ACT225.HTM [3]http://www.bareactslive.com/ACA/ACT195.HTM [4]http://www.bareactslive.com/ACA/ACT195.HTM [5]http://www.bareactslive.com/ACA/ACT195.HTM


Edited by K. Prawin Subash, Senior editor, Lawgic Stratum.

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