Mumbai

Salman case: summon Kamaal Khan, activist pleads with court

While submitting written arguments in the 2002 hit and run case against actor Salman Khan, a social activist on Friday pleaded that Singer Kamaal Khan be summoned as a witness by the court.

“It is intriguing and highly suspicious conduct of the police to drop the only surviving Star eye-witness Kamaal Khan, whose testimony was pivotal to the case and after he had submitted a written undertaking bond to appear for deposition,” activist Santosh Daundkar's lawyer Abha Singh said in her written submission to designated Judge D W Deshpande.

According to the prosecution's case, Kamaal Khan was the third person apart from Salman Khan and his body guard constable Ravindra Patil, to be present in the car at the time of the accident on September 28, 2002 when one person was killed and four were injured.

While Ravindra Patil passed away during the trial in the year 2007, Kamaal Khan was never summoned by the prosecution in this trial in the Sessions court. Salman Khan has claimed he was not driving the car at the time of the accident. But both Ravindra Patil and Kamaal Khan had told the police that Salman was at the wheel at that time.

The defence has, in its final arguments, claimed that there were many problems with the evidence of deceased Ravindra Patil. It has sought that the court discard Mr Patil's statement.

On Friday, lawyer Abha SIngh argued that Kamaal Khan was a crucial witness and had given his statement to police on October 4, 2002, that Salman was driving the car and constable Ravindra Patil was sitting next to Kamaal on the rear seat.

“You (prosecution) are deliberately not calling the star witness....that he is in England cannot be the reason. Under section 275 of the Criminal Procedure Code a witness can be asked to depose

via audio or video conference. Thus, witness Kamaal should be examined in the interest of Justice,” she said. She also cited the Rohtash Kumar verses State of Haryana judgement of the Supreme Court.

She has moved an application seeking action against the responsible police officers for perjury. She has claimed that they purposely suppressed crucial evidence to delay the trial, thereby favouring Salman.

“Under section 344 of CrPc, if the court finds that perjury has been made out, it can issue show cause notices to the concerned parties and hear them before passing orders,” she said.

The court will decide on her application on May 6.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 5:28:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/hitandrun-case-summon-kamaal-khan-activist-pleads-with-court/article7138414.ece

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