A court trying Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case will pronounce the date of verdict today after prosecution and defence concluded their arguments today.
While Khan’s lawyer argued that the evidence of eyewitness Ravindra Patil should not be accepted because he passed away and was not available for cross-examination, the prosecution said ample opportunity had been given to defence earlier for cross examining this witness.
Patil was police bodyguard of Khan at the time of the accident and he had filed a complaint alleging the actor was in an inebriated condition when he rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002 killing one person and injuring four others.
In a related development, sessions judge D W Deshpande, on a plea of Khan, issued contempt notices to inspector of Bandra police station for recreating the crime scene and to two city newspapers for publishing photographs of a police team recreating the same.
The newspapers had published on Sunday news and photos showing a police team from Bandra police station driving in a vehicle from J W Marriott Hotel in Juhu to the accident spot to prove that it takes 30 minutes to cover this distance of around 8 km.
Salman had denied police’s claims that he had started from the hotel at 2.15 AM and reached the spot of accident in Bandra at 2.45 AM while driving at the speed of 90-100 kmph.
Khan’s lawyer Srikant Shivade moved an application seeking contempt action against police officer Rajendra Kane for recreating the scene of offence.
He argued that police should not re-investigate the offence at this stage when the trial is about to get over as it would cause prejudice to the accused.
Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat also filed an application seeking action against Kane for doing an act without his consultation. He said he had warned the officer not to do anything which might embarrass the prosecution.
Moreover, Gharat said Kane was not an investigation officer and was merely assisting him in the case.
“He should not have done this,” he said.
In another development, the court decided to hear on April 23 an application filed by activist Santosh Daundkar seeking action against police officials for perjury (giving false evidence) in the case.
Daundkar had pleaded that police had brought a wrong set of doctors in this case to lead evidence and this not only vitiated the trial but also resulted into undue delay.
The court would hear his application on April 23.