Mumbai, Dec 6: The Bombay High Court is slated to deliver its verdict this week on an appeal filed by actor Salman Khan against the five year sentence awarded to him in the 2002 hit-and-run case.The arguments in the case concluded yesterday and Judge A R Joshi said he would begin dictation of judgement on the appeal from tomorrow. (ALSO READ: Activist seeks stay on release of ‘Bajirao Mastani’) Also Read - Entertainment News Today, March 29: Salman Khan to Take Care of Over 25000 Wage Workers in Industry Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
A sessions court had on May 6 convicted the 49-year-old actor on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under IPC and other offences.An aggrieved Salman filed an appeal in the High Court which granted him bail before hearing arguments in the case.It is the case of the prosecution that Salman had consumed liquor at ‘Rain Bar and Restaurant’ at Vile Parle before ramming his Toyota lexus car into a shop at suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002. One person died in the mishap and four others were injured. Also Read - Salman Khan Moves to Panvel Farmhouse With Sister Arpita Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
The prosecution has argued that there were three persons in the car — Salman, his singer friend Kamaal Khan and the actor’s police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who passed away during the trial in 2007.Relying upon the statement of Patil, the prosecution argued that Salman was driving the car. However, it did not examine Kamaal Khan who has since then gone abroad. Also Read - Salman Khan's Father Salim Says 'When Salman Was in Jail, we Felt Guilty Even While Drinking Water'
On the other hand, Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai has argued that Salman was not driving the car and that it was his family driver Ashok Singh who was behind the wheel. He said the trial court had erred in not accepting the testimony of Ashok Singh, who deposed as defence witness saying that he was driving the car on the ill-fated day and not the actor.
While the prosecution argued that Ashok Singh was a ‘got up’ witness and had come before the court after 13 years, Salman denied the charge and said his driver had appeared at the fag end of the trial because he was a defence witness.The prosecution alleged that Salman drove the vehicle throughout – from his Galaxy Apartments residence at Bandra to Rain Bar at Vile Parle and from there to J W Marriot Hotel at Juhu and then to the spot of accident at Bandra.
Prosecutors S S Shinde and Purnima Kantharia further argued that at Marriot Hotel, the parking attendant had seen Salman occupying the driver’s seat. In his testimony, the parking attendant said the actor had closed the car’s door after giving him tip.According to prosecution, witnesses at the accident spot had seen Salman coming out of the driver’s seat. They also said that Salman ran away from the spot after the accident. The prosecution also alleged that the actor was missing from his residence for several hours after the mishap.