Final arguments begin in Salman hit-and-run trial

Salman Khan's defence of not driving car unacceptable, says Prosecution.

Updated - November 17, 2021 02:08 am IST

Published - April 01, 2015 06:13 pm IST - MUMBAI

Bollywood actor Salman Khan at the Sessions Court in Mumbai in connection with the 2002 hit-and-run case. File photo

Bollywood actor Salman Khan at the Sessions Court in Mumbai in connection with the 2002 hit-and-run case. File photo

The prosecution on Wednesday started final arguments in the 2002 hit-and-run-case against actor Salman Khan by saying that he had produced a dummy witness whereas he himself was driving the car on the fateful night of accident when four persons were injured and one person was killed.

The defence had, two days ago, produced Ashok Singh before the court, who had claimed responsibility for the accident. He had said he was on the wheel at the time of the mishap.

On Wednesday, Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat also pleaded to the court that the actor should remain present in the court during final arguments. Salman has thus been directed to be in court from April 6.

The prosecution refuted defence theories regarding the accident.

The defence had earlier told the court that the accident was caused due to technical error. Driver Ashok Singh had said that the mishap was caused by tyre burst, after the steering wheel became tight.

But Mr. Gharat argued on Wednesday that the defence had developed the theory of Mr. Ashok Singh driving the car, only towards the day end of the 13-year-old case.

He also pleaded to the court not to take into consideration a three-page statement submitted by the actor after giving his statement under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“That submission can't be taken into consideration because that stage is limited only to explain circumstances which appear before the Court. If, over and above, a person had to say something, he had to keep himself open to cross examination,” Mr. Gharat said.

"The cat would have been out of the bag of he would have examined himself as a witness, " he said further.

Refuting the defence argument about technical snag being the cause of the mishap, Mr. Gharat said the car in question was an SUV which is designed for extreme sport. “The Land Cruiser Lexus is of such a type, which, if driven with proper care and caution, won't go uncontrolled despite a technical defect,” he said.

After describing the features of the “fully loaded model of highest quality”, Mr. Gharat asked, “Will that vehicle succumb to ordinary circumstances where simple resistance is required?”

He also said that in case of any technical problem in the car, it is reflected on the panel indicator of the car which had to be monitored by the driver. “The driver of the car, who is Salman, is supposed to keep an eye on this panel indicator. It is an act of rashness and negligence, if a person fails to keep a watch on the panel indicator,” Mr. Gharat said.

False implication theory

While refuting the defence theory that the actor has been falsely implicated in the case, the prosecution said that none of the witnesses harboured any animosity or personal grudge against Salman. “The victims and the complainant become independent and impartial witnesses,” he said.

Talking about the question raised by the defence on complainant Constable Ravindra Patil's trustworthiness, the prosecution said on Wednesday that no evidence was ever brought before the Court about any mala fide intent of the deceased police constable.

During his statement before the Court this week, actor Salman Khan had claimed for the first time that Constable Patil was not an eyewitness to the accident as he was sleeping in the car at that time.

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