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Salman wasn’t drunk and was not driving car: lawyer

There was no evidence to prove that Bollywood superstar Salman Khan had taken drinks and was driving the car on the day in 2002 when it rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one and injuring four, his lawyer argued in the Bombay High Court.

Justice A R Joshi is hearing an appeal filed by the actor against his conviction and the five-year sentence awarded by the sessions court here in the case on May 6.

The prosecution’s case is that just before the mishap on September 28, 2002, Salman drove from his Bandra house to Rain Bar and later to J W Marriot hotel. At Rain Bar, he had drinks.

His lawyer, Amit Desai, said the prosecution did not produce `parking tag’ of J W Marriot hotel to prove who was driving the car. The evidence also did not throw light on who drove the car from Rain Bar to J W Marriot and who parked it at the hotel, he said.

The prosecution produced “pirated” version of facts in the trial court that Salman was driving, he said.

Nobody had seen Salman driving the car that day and only the injured victims at the mishap site had said that Salman got down from the driver’s seat, creating the suspicion that he was driving, Desai said.

During the trial, Salman’s lawyer had argued that the car door on the left side got jammed after the accident; hence he got down from the driver’s seat though he wasn’t driving it.

Ravindra Patil, the then police bodyguard of Salman who passed away in 2007, also did not say that the actor was driving in the FIR lodged on the night of accident.

But two days later, Patil said in a statement before a magistrate that Salman was driving the car. “This was an afterthought and an improvement made by him in evidence,” Desai alleged, arguing that this statement was “inadmissible as evidence and could not be relied upon.

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