On the concluding day of arguments in actor Salman Khan’s hit-and-run case on Monday, the defence claimed the prosecution had wrongly accused the actor while it was his driver who was at the wheel when the accident took place.
The sessions court hearing the case will declare the date of verdict on April 21.
In 2013, a sessions court had ordered a fresh trial in the case after the charge against Khan was enhanced from “rash and negligent driving” to the more serious culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304(II) of the Indian Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.
On Monday, Khan’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade argued that the evidence of the actor’s deceased police bodyguard Ravindra Patil should not be accepted because he was no more and so could not be cross-examined.
Patil, who was also the complainant in the case, had stated that the actor was in an inebriated condition when he rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one and injuring four others.
The lawyer said when the enhanced charge was applied to Khan’s case, Patil could not be cross-examined, causing “prejudice to Khan”. The prosecution argued that ample opportunity had been given to defence earlier for cross-examining Patil.
Claiming that the mishap was a pure accident, Shivade said the tyre burst, which led to the accident, was not in anybody’s control.
Meanwhile, Judge D W Deshpande, on a plea of Khan’s lawyer, issued contempt of court notices Monday to an inspector of Bandra police station for recreating the crime scene and to two city newspapers for publishing photographs of the same.
The special public prosecutor, Pradeep Gharat, through a notice, has also asked the inspector to state reasons as to why he was not informed about the same.
The newspapers had on Sunday carried news and photos showing a police team from Bandra police station driving in a vehicle from J W Marriott Hotel in Juhu to the accident spot to prove that it takes 30 minutes to cover this distance of around 8 km, and not five minutes, as claimed by Khan’s lawyer.
On April 18, the defence lawyer had produced videos in court, including an interactive Google map, showing the entire journey from Marriott to the accident spot and another video of a truck accident due to a tyre burst, to support his case during his final arguments.
The prosecutor had told the court that he would also present in video form, his case.On Monday, however, the prosecutor told the court that he was not informed about the inspector’s actions.
Salman Khan hit-and-run case