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2002 hit-and-run case: Salman Khan's acquittal echoes in Parliament


The acquittal of actor Salman Khan in the Mumbai hit-and-run case today echoed in the Lok Sabha with questions being raised as to who was responsible for the death of a man sleeping on a pavement if the superstar was not driving the car. Ruling NDA members Vinayak Raut (Shiv Sena) and Kirti Azad (BJP) raised the Salman Khan judgement during the debate on setting up of benches of commercial courts. Azad, in a tongue-in-cheek comment, asked whether it was a 'deer' who was driving.

"The legal system is such that after 12 years Salman Khan has been acquitted. But the question is that on that night when the accident took place, someone died, so who is responsible for it? Who did it?," Raut said. He claimed none tried to find out who killed the poor man. "It should not be a system where a death is left unanswered after the acquittal of Salman Khan," he said.

"When justice is given to someone, the job to trace the real culprit should be of the Judiciary and police department. This change in the system is necessary," Raut said. Azad said, "You are a good lawyer if you know the law. You are a great lawyer, if you know the judge." In an apparent reference to Salman's trial in connection with killing of a black buck in Rajasthan, the BJP member said, "Today we are seeing cases where a person is jailed for killing a deer, but someone who runs over a person is let free. This is how judicial system is."

Insisting that he was not criticising anyone, especially any judge, Azad said he was talking only of the judgement. "One poor person died. Now, it is not known who was driving the car. Perhaps it was the deer who was driving," he said, adding there was a need for improvement in the judicial system and efficiencies have to be brought in.

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