In a move to bolster its case, the prosecution in the 2002 hit-and-run mishap involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan today filed an application in the trial court saying it wanted to lead the evidence of two crucial witnesses, who are currently unavailable, to the court.
While one of the witnesses is the police bodyguard of the actor who had filed the complaint in this case, the other is a doctor who had conducted postmortem of the person who was killed in the accident.
According to prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, the bodyguard, Ravindra Patil, passed away during the trial after giving a statement to a magistrate that he had warned Salman not to drive rashly or else he would meet with an accident but the actor did not heed to his advice.
Another witness Dr Sanap, who had conducted the postmortem, has settled down in USA and therefore he is not available to the prosecution. However, he had given a statement to the magistrate earlier on the postmortem.
The statements of both these crucial witnesses were recorded by a magistrate during the trial. However, the case was transferred by the magistrate to the sessions court in 2013 after the charge of culpable homicide was invoked against Salman.
The sessions court decided to conduct a fresh trial and evidence is being led again. Hence, the prosecution wants to bring on record the statements of these witnesses (given to the magistrate earlier) who are currently not available to them.
Gharat also filed today the death certificate of the complainant which stated that he had died of tuberculosis.
Salman’s lawyer Srikant Shivade admitted that the complainant died but disputed that he had died of T.B.
The court has posted orders on the prosecution’s application to lead evidence of the deceased complainant on February 27.
On the same day, Judge D W Deshpande is expected to pass an order on the prosecution’s application seeking a direction to Salman Khan to produce his licence.
While the mishap had occurred in 2002, the prosecution has claimed that the actor had no driving licence at the relevant time and that he had procured it only in 2004.
On September 28, 2002, the actor’s car had rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra and ran over people sleeping on the pavement outside, killing one and injuring four.