Mumbai: Actor Salman Khan arrives to appear before a Mumbai court in connection with the infamous 2002 hit and run case on March 12, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

Salman Khan hit-and-run case: What Happened and What to Expect Today?

Salman Khan hit-and-run case has taken a twist on expected lines with his driver saying he was at the wheel when the accident took place in September 2002 but what is surprising is that the scene resembles many such episodes in many films and in many such cases in the past.

The arguments in the case will continue again Today, Tuesday April 7, 2015. The arguments put forth by the public prosecutor will be challenged by the defence counsel today before Additional Sessions Judge D. W. Deshpande.

Otherwise, it was a gruelling 13-year hiatus for Salman Khan, who grew up more matured since then and took to repentance in the form of humanitarian activities after the incident. That itself is a testimony that the actor was self-conscious about the truth. However, evidence is more crucial for any court to decide and that’s where the defence lawyer will show his skill today.

Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said Salman Khan’s driver Ashok Singh had lied under oath and raised four main questions for the twist in the hit-and-run case which left one pavement dweller dead and four others injured.

After 13 years, for the first time the driver’s name — Ashok Singh — came from the blue after Salman Khan testified that he was not driving the vehicle that killed the pavement dwellers. Why didn’t he tell this before?

Terming it a “suspicious” confession by the driver, Gharat rejected it and called him a “self-condemned liar” who could be liable for perjury for falsely owning up to the acciden outside American Express Bakery in Bandra West suburb of Mumbai, close to the actor’s seafront residence in Galaxy Apartments.

“Salim Khan (father of Salman) asked him (Singh) to own up and he owns up.. the conduct of the driver is unnatural,” Gharat argued.

At the time of the accident, Gharat said witnesses heard a “big bang” and many had seen the actor stepping out of the right side of the vehicle.Mumbai: Screenwriter Salim Khan, actors Dilip Kumar, Salman Khan, Helen and Saira Banu during Arpita Khan's marriage reception in Mumbai, on November 21, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

“All witnesses said that he and his friend Kamaal Khan ran away from there after the accident,” Gharat said, citing that witness Francis had testified to this fact and this was never challenged.

“At that time, the witness (Singh) was not present. He is a liar. He has stepped forward for the accused now, for whatever may be the reasons,” he said.

He added Singh has testified that he went to Bandra Police station but was not arrested and asked to wait outside.

When Salman Khan was arrested the next morning, a huge crowd of media persons were outside when police came out with Salman and their photographs were clicked. “At that point with such a grand opportunity, whey did he not tell the truth to media?” Gharat asked.

The prosecution has charged Salman with drunken driving and not possessing a valid licence, both of which he has denied.

Gharat made a strong pitch for the court to accept the statement of the late Ravindra Patil, the police bodyguard assigned to Salman, who was the complainant in the case.

“The death of a witness does not come in the way of evidence. He was examined by the court (metropolitan magistrate’s court, Bandra). He was also available for cross examination, and had given a detailed account of the sequence of events in his complaint,” argued Gharat, citing supporting judgements on the issue.(With inputs from IANS)

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