Hit-and-run case: Salman was neither drunk nor driving, lawyer tells HC

Salman Khan’s counsel for the 2002 hit-and-run case on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that the actor was not drunk and nor was he driving the SUV when the accident happened, saying that there was no substantial evidence to prove it.

Justice A R Joshi who is hearing the appeal filed by Salman Khan against his conviction and five-year sentence in the hit-and-run case by a sessions court on May 6.  

According to the prosecution, Salman drove from his residence to Rain Bar where he had drinks and later went to J W Marriot hotel before the accident occurred on September 28, 2002 in Bandra in which one person was killed and four others were injured.

Advocate Amit Desai said told the court that the prosecution did not produce the ‘parking tag’ of the hotel. He argued that no one had seen Salman driving the vehicle save the victims who said that Salman had got down from the driver’s side making them suspect that he was driving. Advocate Desai said the door on the left side got jammed after the accident and therefore, Salamn had got down from the driver’s side.

The lawyer further said that constable Ravindra Patil, the actor’s then police bodyguard who passed away in 2007, had also not mentioned in his FIR he lodged immediately after the incident, that Salman was driving or was under the influence of alchol. But two days later, Patil stated before a magistriate that Salman had drinks and he had asked the actor to drive slow.

“This was an afterthought and an improvement made by him in evidence,” the lawyer alleged, arguing that Patil’s statement was “inadmissible as evidence and could not be relied upon.” The quality of testimony and evidence produced before the court was such that Salman should not have been convicted at all, Desai told the court.

Salman is currently out on bail, and further arguments in the case will take place on Thrusday, October 22.