The Maharashtra government will in January 2016 file an appeal against the Bombay High Court's verdict acquitting actor Salam Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case, according to reports.
Acquitting Khan on 10 December, the Bombay High Court had said the prosecution failed to establish that the actor was driving the car and was under influence of alcohol when the accident happened on the night of 22 September, 2002.
One person was killed and four others were injured when the Toyota Land Cruiser ran over a group of labourers who were sleeping on the pavement near American Express Bakery on Hill Road junction in Bandra, Mumbai.
A trial court had on 6 May pronounced Salman Khan guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Additional Sessions Judge DW Deshpande had also awarded a five-year jail term to the actor.
However, the Bombay HC overturned the trial court's order observing that there were "anomalies and discrepancies" in the statement of the main witness, Ravindra Patil. Patil was Khan's bodyguard and was with the actor when the accident took place.
"Patil cannot be called 'wholly reliable' as he improved upon this statement from recording of FIR to his supplementary statement (on October 1, 2002) in the magistrate's court," Justice AR Joshi had said.
Joshi further said there were "faults" in the investigation, observing that there were omissions and contradictions in the evidence of the injured witnesses.
"Procedure required chain of evidence when case is based on biological evidence. There were some loose ends in the investigation and the benefit is required to be given in favour of the accused. It is the duty of the court to sift through evidence and see that offences are proved against the accused beyond reasonable doubt," he had said.