After 13 years, D-day for Salman in hit-and-run case

May 06, 2015 01:50 am | Updated November 16, 2021 05:06 pm IST - MUMBAI

A sessions court here will pronounce its verdict on Wednesday in the 2002 hit-and-run case, in which actor Salman Khan is the accused.

Nurullah Mehboob Sharif was killed and four others were injured after Mr. Khan’s Toyota Land Cruiser ran up the stairs of American Express Laundry on Hill Road at Bandra in the intervening night of September 27 and 28, 2002. Mr. Khan was arrested and freed the same day after a medical check-up. He was rearrested in October 2002, but got bail from the sessions court.

The trial began in October 2006 at the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bandra. In 2012, the magistrate ruled in favour of an enhanced charge under Section 304 II of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and transferred the case to the Mumbai sessions court for a fresh trial. In 2013, the sessions court framed charges under the stringent Section. Earlier, the actor had faced the charge of causing death by negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC.

He is also facing the charges of rash driving under Section 279 and abetment of assault under Section 134 of the IPC, besides those under the Motor Vehicle Act. If convicted, he may face up to 10 years in jail. The prosecution’s case was that Salman Khan was driving drunk, losing control of his vehicle and running over pavement dwellers. Constable Ravindra Patil, his bodyguard present with him at the time of the accident, is the complainant.

Actor’s driver took responsibility

Constable Ravindra Patil, actor Salman Khan’s bodyguard present with him at the time of the accident, is the complainant in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

He said in his statement to the police that Mr. Khan was in an inebriated condition and he had warned him against driving The constable died in October 2007. The defence sought to discard his statement.

The prosecution examined 27 witnesses, while the defence examined only one: Mr. Khan’s driver Ashok Singh. One of the prosecution witnesses was Sachin Kadam, a security guard, who was declared hostile after he went back on his statement that he had seen the actor at the accident spot. In a surprise move this March, the actor’s driver appeared before the court for the first time and took responsibility for the accident saying he was at the wheel. In his deposition in March, Mr. Khan said he was neither drunk nor was he driving the vehicle.

He also denied having run away from the scene. The defence lawyer contended that the evidence against the actor was manufactured. Mr. Khan was “branded as an accused from day one” and it was “a pure case of accident,” he said.

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