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Maharashtra set to Appeal against High Court verdict acquitting Salman Khan in Hit and Run Case

SALMANDecember,23,2015: The State Government has infomed the Bombay High Court that it will file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court.

The Maharashtra government will file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case, the Bombay High Court was told on Wednesday .

A Division Bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Gautam Patel was informed by government pleader A.B. Vagyani that the government on Tuesday had received sanction to file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court and would do so in the first week of January.

The High Court, in its order on December 10, had acquitted the actor of all charges in the accident that had killed one person and injured four.

The court said on Wednesday that it did not want to get into the details of the investigations in the case but wanted to know the procedures followed by the State in such cases.

PIL plea by journalist

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition that journalist Nikhil Wagle had filed following the hit-and-run accident involving Salman Khan raising concern over increasing cases of drunken driving and lack of stringent penal provisions to tackle such accidents.

Referring to the June 10 incident where an advocate Janhavi Gadkar rammed her car killing two persons and injuring four others while driving under the influence of alcohol, the court asked the State, “Is it correct that in case of the infamous accident, the State has set aside the order of revocation of license?”

Ms. Gadkar is out in bail and following a Sessions Court order passed on December 18, the police returned her license. The court reminded the State that it had the power to suspend, revoke, temporarily and permanently disqualify the license.

On December 21, the Bench had sought to know what action the State government proposed to take against personnel found guilty of dereliction of duty in such cases and also its stand on action to be taken as regards the licence of persons found driving under influence of liquor. The court had asked the State to submit all the rules and guidelines for taking blood samples of drunken drivers, preservation and examination of the samples etc.

On Wednesday, the court posed a series of queries to Mr. Vagyani on testing of drivers for alcohol levels, procedures for arrests of drunken drivers and designated hospitals authorised to test blood samples.

On being asked how many forensic laboratories there were in the city where blood sample could be sent, Mr. Vagyani replied, “One.” The court was informed that the Bombay Police Act was silent on how to keep the blood samples and where to keep them.

It was also brought to the notice of the court that the Motor Vehicles Act does not talk about any rules or procedures to be followed, but the Bombay Prohibition Act lays down the purpose of collection, so it is up to the discretion of police officers to decide.

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