The mother of Anuj Thapan, an accused in the April 14 firing incident at Salman Khan’s house at Bandra in Bombay and who died allegedly by suicide in police custody, on May 22 told Bombay high court that her prayer for registration of an FIR against the actor was a typographical error. A vacation bench of Justices Nitin Borkar and Somasekhar Sundaresan heard a petition by Rita Devi to direct a CBI probe alleging custodial death of her son who on May 1 was found hanging inside the toilet of the crime branch lock-up at the police headquarters at Crawford Market in Bombay.

Senior advocate Aabad Ponda, representing Salman, who is the fourth respondent in the petition, referred to Rita’s prayer clause that seeks direction for registration of an FIR against “respondents 3 to 5 and other police officials on duty and further suspension of respondents 3 to 5 till the present matter is concluded”. Ponda said that there was no allegation against Khan in the petition, and questioned how the actor could be suspended. Rita’s advocate, Nishant Rana, said that the use of the word ‘to’ instead of ‘and’ in the prayer clause was a typographical error. He undertook to correct the mistake to restrict the prayer for FIR to the police officials. However, Rana said that Rita had a suspicion that Salman Khan “may be involved directly or indirectly” in her son’s death. When asked by the judges how, Rana replied, “He is the complainant in the FIR in which Rita’s son was arrested.”

But Aabad Ponda, on behalf of Salman, said, “I am a victim… They want to keep it (petition) hanging on my head as if I am involved in his death.” He added that the petition was affecting the actor’s public life, his work and his films. When the judges asked what was the connection between Anuj and Salman, Nishant Rana replied, “I don’t want to go into it right now…”