NEW DELHI: While seeking the reversal of the Bombay High Court verdict acquitting Salman Khan in the hit-and-run case, the Maharashtra government on Friday told the Supreme Court the Bollywood superstar was drunk and driving his SUV when it ran over persons sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai in 2002 and termed the acquittal “perverse, improper and a complete travesty of justice”.
Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state government, stated before a bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan that Khan was driving the vehicle and the claim that it was his driver who was behind the wheels at the time of the accident had come as an afterthought 13 years after the incident.
The Centre’s top law officer referred to the sequence of events and testimonies of some witnesses and said that besides Khan, his singer friend Kamaal Khan and a constable were inside the vehicle and that there were statements which suggested the actor himself was driving the Toyota Land Cruiser.
“The alcohol level was beyond the permissible limit in Khan’s blood sample which was collected after 12 hours,” Rohatgi said, adding that it was a fact that the actor didn’t have a driving licence in 2002. The court, however, didn’t issue a notice to Khan and slated a hearing for February 12. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the actor, said Rohatgi had told the court a very good story on the accident and that he also had a lot to say to counter it.