A witness in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving superstar Salman Khan on Wednesday said that the actor was not smelling of liquor when he met him at his place a few hours after the mishap.
The prosecution's case is that Salman's car had rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra killing one person and injuring four others who were sleeping outside on the pavement in the wee hours of September 28, 2002.
"I met Salman on the next day morning at 9am at his place (few hours after the mishap at around 3am) and hugged him, but he did not smell of alcohol," Chiky Pandey, brother of actor Chunky Pandey, told the court of sessions Judge DW Deshpande.
During cross-examination, Pandey told Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade that the junction near the American Express Bakery (where the accident had taken place) was always busy with slow vehicular traffic movement.
Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat re-examined him on this point asking him whether there was heavy traffic at this junction all the 24 hours, to which the witness replied: 'Not always.'
Significantly, the mishap had occurred in the early hours when there is hardly any traffic on road.
Pandey told the prosecutor during examination-in-chief that he had helped Salman buy an imported car for Rs. 14 lakhs from Abdul Rehman through a customs clearing agent. (This question was asked as it was the same car which had met with an accident on the ill-fated day).
Pandey further said that Salman had given two cheques of Rs. 12 lakhs and Rs. 2 lakhs to car owner Abdul Rehman. At the time of mishap, the vehicle was in the name of its owner and had not yet been transferred in Salman's name, he said.
Another witness, Salim Patel, a customs clearing agent, who had helped the actor in getting the car cleared from the customs after it was imported from Dubai, explained to the court the import procedures.
Salman did not appear before the court today as he was busy with the wedding preparations of his sister Arpita.
The court asked him to appear on November 24 and 25 when other witnesses would be examined.