New Delhi: A plea seeking declaration of Bombay High Court verdict acquitting actor Salman Khan in a 2002 hit-and-run case as “arbitrary” and “void”, was referred by Supreme Court today to a bench dealing with the matter.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur referred the plea to the bench which is hearing Maharashtra government’s appeal against his acquittal in the case
“How are you concerned with Salman Khan?… Let it come along with the main matter. Let it be listed before the bench hearing the appeal arising out of the judgement of Bombay High Court,” a bench also comprising Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit said.
The plea moved by senior advocate Paramanand Katara said there has been increasing tendency of such appeals being moved in different High Courts and the Supreme Court should settle the issue.
Maintaining that Salman Khan was convicted and sentenced for five years with fine, he said hence the law required that the revision petition should have been filed under section 397/401 of CrPC (powers of High Court to hear revision petitions) and not a criminal appeal under section 374(2).
Katara said under section 374 of CrPC, the appeal can be filed if the conviction was for seven years or more. “The High Court passed a judgement acquitting Salman Khan on December 10, 2015, without jurisdiction and this legal flaw and blunder was not pointed out in High Court by lawyers of both sides,” he said.
Katara said he was raising substantial question of law “whether Salman Salim Khan actor’s case would not set an arbitrary, bad and illegal trend forever and would open flood gates to other similarly situated convicts and raise finger on judicial system in India.”
“Issue an appropriate writ or writs and guidelines, proclamation or declaration that the appeal against the conviction and sentence of five years passed by sessions and Additional Sessions Judge, does not legally lie in High Court…,” his plea said.
He sought declaration of judgement of December 10, 2015 of acquitting Salman Khan by Bombay High Court is without jurisdiction, “void”, “illegal”, “arbitrary” and “unknown” to the provisions of CrPC..