The Bombay High Court on Thursday acquitted Bollywood star Salman Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case in which he had been earlier convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment by a sessions court. On September 28, 2002, Salman’s car had rammed into a bakery shop in suburban Bandra. One person was killed and four others were injured in the mishap. Here is what Justice A R Joshi said: 1) The appeal is allowed. The trial court’s verdict is quashed and set aside. Salman is acquitted of all charges. 2) The prosecution failed to establish its case against the appellant-accused (Salman) on all charges. The burden is on the prosecution to establish the guilt of the accused and this needs to be done beyond reasonable doubt. 3) There are various shortcomings by the prosecution like not recording evidence of necessary and important witnesses and omissions. 4) There are contradictions in the evidence of injured witnesses, which definitely create a doubt about the involvement of Salman for offences for which he has been charged. On the basis of such evidence, Salman cannot be convicted. 5) The investigation was conducted in a faulty manner with many loose ends and as such, benefit of this had to be given in favour of the accused. 6) The trial court erred in accepting bills (of Rain Bar and Restaurant where Salman had gone before the mishap) without a panchnama, 7) The judge said he is of the considered view that the appreciation of evidence done by the trial court while convicting the appellant was not proper and legal, as per the principles of criminal jurisprudence.
2015 Kashmir Despatch