Mumbai: While acquitting the Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case, the Bombay High Court also absolved him from charge of leaving the accident spot without providing aid to the victims.
According to the prosecution, Salman fled from the spot after his SUV ran over people sleeping on footpath in suburban Bandra, killing one person and injuring four, on September 28, 2002.
A mob had gathered after the accident and the situation led the actor to leave the place, said Justice A R Joshi in the judgement, a copy of which became available today.
"Though this court has held that the prosecution has failed to establish that the appellant-accused (Salman) was driving the vehicle during the incident, still it is a factual position that he was present in the vehicle and this position cannot be negated. As such, the import of section 134 of Motor Vehicles Act is required to be construed," the court said.
Under section 134, not only the driver but every person in charge of a vehicle which is involved in an accident is duty-bound to give medical assistance to the victims.
"Considering this argument (that people armed with sticks, rods, etc., had gathered) and the factual position that the circumstances were such that in order to escape from the fury of mob and these circumstances were beyond the control of the appellant, no such appropriate steps were taken to secure the medical aid to the injured persons," the judge said.
Therefore, "even this charge under section 134 of Motor Vehicles Act cannot be attracted," Justice Joshi held.