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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Hit-and-run: witness says Salman was not drunk

Aritra Hazra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 20, 2014
First Published: 16:13 IST(20/5/2014) | Last Updated: 02:02 IST(21/5/2014)

In what could possibly come as some respite for actor Salman Khan, who is facing trial for a 2002 hit-and-run case which left one dead and four injured, a witness during deposition on Tuesday stated that the actor appeared to be “walking normally and did not smell of alcohol” after the accident.

On May 6, a victim, during his deposition as a prosecution witness, had alleged that the actor was so drunk that he fell down after getting off his car.

Francis Fernandez, 63, the seventh witness, deposing before sessions judge DW Deshpande stated that he resided near the accident spot. He also claimed that he knew the actor since he was a child and that Salman calls him Commander.

Fernandez deposed before the court that on the intervening night of September 27 and 28, he was sleeping at his residence when he heard the sound of the accident followed by screams of “bachao bachao (save us).” “I rushed to the American bakery and saw Salman surrounded by a mob holding rods and stones.

Salman recognised me and said, Commander save me,” Fernandez said.

During the cross examination by defense lawyer Srikant Shivade the witness said that he had led the actor away from an agitated mob.

Fernandez said that during the time he was with Salman, he “did not get any smell of alcohol and the actor was walking normally.” The witness also alleged that his wife had stopped a passing car after which the actor boarded the vehicle, he added. One of the victims had alleged that Salman ‘ran away’ from the spot soon after the accident.

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