Hit-and-run case: Prosecution rejects Salman's ‘dummy’ witness

Salman Khan’s hit-and-run case saw a dramatic twist when the actor’s lawyer produced his long time driver Ashok Singh as the prime accused in 2002 hit-and-run case. The public prosecutor raised objection and argued at the court how the fourth person in Salman’s car came into existence when all through these years there has been no mention of his presence in the car on that ill-fated night.

Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat called the actor’s driver Ashok Singh a “dummy witness” and further defending the actor, Salman Khan’s lawyer said that “was an act of God. It was a mechanical defect and not the fault of the driver”.

“He [Ashok Singh] appears to have been brought in now,” Gharat told Additional Sessions Judge DW Deshpande.

“You never ever mentioned about the fourth person. Can this piece of evidence be accepted,” Gharat asked defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade.

Gharat again brought into forefront the fact that only three persons were present in the car, singer Kamal Khan, Salman’s bodyguard Ravindra Patil and the actor himself. “If attempt is to show that they were not the only three people travelling, but one more was there, not even a remote suggestion was made that this was defence witness Ashok Singh (driver). This defence has been developed only at the time of producing him,” he said.

Admitting the crime, driver Ashok Singh said, “Ashok Singh had stated that the road was smooth to drive so there was no possibility of bursting of tyre as suggested by him. The car tyre may burst if it comes in contact with a sharp edge. But during the accident, it only hit the  stairs it climbed,” he added.

The prosecutor argued that there is no chance of speeding, leaving road and climbing the footpath as there is an indicator panel facility provided in the car. “The driver of the said vehicle, who is actor Salman Khan, is supposed to see and keep an eye on the indicator. If there is any defect in any part of the car it shows in the indicator panel. If one fails to observe the indicator, it is an act of rashness and negligence. The accused particularly had knowledge of which place he was passing and what failure on his part would result in,” said.

The final arguments by Gharat will resume in court on April 6.