The Salman Khan verdict: Who are Nurullah, Mannu, Mohammad Abdulla, Mohammad Kalim, MuslimNiyamat?
- December 14, 2015
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
How many would recognize the aforementioned names? As with the headline itself, most of the attention in the Salman Khan case has been focused on the actor while the victims of the incident (the names listed above) have been pushed to the background.
The Bombay High Court pronounced the verdict in the Salman Khan hit-and-run case this week. The case dates back to 2002, in which the actor’s car allegedly rammed into five people sleeping on a pavement. One of them died while the others were seriously injured. Pointing out fallacies in the trial court judgment, which had convicted actor Salman Khan and sentenced him to 5 years in prison, the High Court acquitted the actor of all charges. This was mainly due to lack of adequate evidence to prove that the actor had been intoxicated and was the one driving the car. The court also criticized the patchwork investigation by the police, which has left many questions about the case unanswered.
The verdict has, understandably, generated much attention from all quarters but what is not being grasped is that the judgment is what it is and the law has and will take its course. Rather than debating on the veracity of the judgment, perhaps priority should be given to the victims of the case, who are still waiting for ‘justice’.All 5 victims were workers of A-1 Bakery and had been sleeping outside the bakery when the accident occurred. While Nurullah Sharif died in the accident, the other 4- Mannu Khan, Mohammad Abdulla Shaikh, Mohammad KalimIqbalPathan and Muslim NiyamatShaikh- were injured. Two of the survivors had to take to working elsewhere after the accident while the other two shifted back to their hometowns in U.P. What ties all of them together is that their lives took a turn for the worse because of the accident and they have been left to pick up the pieces, all on their own.One of the victims states that not only did he receive compensation late, several years after the accident, but also he had to pay much of it back as legal charges. Their endeavor to lead a normal life once again has been hampered by injuries due to the accident that have made finding good employment opportunities difficult.
This case should serve as a wake-up call for a larger cause- that of compensation and rehabilitation for victims of road accidents. If victims in such a high profile case complain of inadequate compensation, one can only imagine the plight of victims of cases which are not given as much media attention. Having black-letter law can only take us so far. There need to be oversight committees to take follow-up action in such cases and ensure that wholesome rehabilitation of such victims has been done.
The Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015 is in the pipeline and the government has stated that it will pursue this cause irrespective of the hurdles posed by vested interests. The Bill, which imposes stricter penalty for traffic violations and accidents as well as better oversight mechanism, may be a ray of hope for victims and a move towards an “Accident-free India”.