Mumbai, June 24: In a twist in the Salman Khan accident case, a witness in the Sessions Court here Tuesday reneged on his earlier statement made before the police.
Sachin Kadam, a security guard with Hotel Neelsagar restaurant, informed Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande that his earlier statement recorded by the police was wrong. “My statement that I saw Salman Khan coming out of the driver’s seat and running away from the (accident) site is incorrect,” Kadam told the court.
However, Kadam was unable to explain during the ongoing re-trial here why police recorded a ‘false version’ of his statement. In his earlier statement to police, Kadam had said he saw Khan alighting from the driver’s seat of his SUV and leaving the accident scene.
On Tuesday, Kadam said he informed police that a large car came and hit the shutter of a shop. Public Prosecutor Jagannath Kenralkar immediately demanded that Kadam be declared a “hostile witness” as he did not support the prosecution, but the court did not pass any order on this.
During cross-examination, Kadam told Salman Khan’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade that he had not witnessed the accident since he was on duty at the restaurant gate that night. He said the restaurant gate was opposite the bakery and laundry where the SUV was involved in the accident Sep 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four others.
Kadam said he heard a loud noice and went to see what happened. M. Shaikh, another witness and an injured who was examined Tuesday, said he saw Salman Khan standing at the accident site after he (Shaikh) was helped out from below the car by people there.
“It was a big white car. I saw Salman Khan after I was rescued and there were two other people but I did not recognise them,” Shaikh told the court. Shaikh, who was later admitted to the Bhabha Hospital with a fracture, said he was sleeping with Narullah and others outside the bakery at the time of the accident.
Later, he learnt that Narullah died in the accident. In his cross-examination, Shaikh said he did not see Salman Khan helping out in the rescue work as he (Shaikh) was under the vehicle for 10-15 minutes and could not see who was around.
“Police took away the vehicle, but I cannot say how it was taken away. Narullah and I were under the vehicle and screaming for help. Local taxi drivers and bakery workers who rescued us were shouting that Salman Khan was responsible for the accident,” Shaikh said.
Shaikh said he informed police about Salman Khan meeting with an accident. “But I can’t say why this was not recorded by police in my statement,” he added. The two witnesses’ testimony came Tuesday, the second day after the hearing resumed in the retrial in the hit-and-run case.
Salman Khan faced an additional charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder which attracts a 10-year jail term. On Monday, two witnesses testified and identified Salman Khan, while last month, three other witnesses had testified before the court and also identified the actor in the case in which the retrial started April 28.
Salman Khan is accused of driving his SUV onto a pavement in Bandra Sep 28, 2002, in which one person was killed and four other injured. On Dec 5, 2013, a Mumbai court ordered retrial in the case.