Legal mystery: Did loopholes, errors bail out Salman Khan?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 09, 2015 21:00 IST

Bollywood star Salman Khan’s quick bail by the Bombay high court on Friday could be blamed on likely loopholes during the investigation and trial. Here is a list on some of the grey areas in the case.

1. Fingerprint evidence

Forensic experts had collected Salman's finger prints, but it is not clear whether they were taken from the steering wheel of the vehicle.

2. Witness not questioned in court

The sessions court’s judgment read: “It is pertinent to note that (singer) Kamaal Khan was also travelling in the car at the time of the incident. He is a British citizen, a singer and would visit India for singing. He has not been examined by the prosecution. Neither the prosecution nor the defence advanced arguments regarding his examination.”

3. Contradicting versions

At JW Marriott

Defence said: The parking tag, an important piece of evidence, was not on record. The statements of Yogesh Kadam, a parking assistant, and hotel’s security guard were not recorded

Prosecution said: Non-examination of Kadam and other witnesses from the hotel was not fatal to their case. The prosecution had examined Kalpesh Verma, another parking assistant, who had handed over the car keys to the actor and saw him sitting on the driver’s seat.

As for the parking tag, there was no dispute that the car was parked in the premises of JW Marriott.

At the accident spot

Defence said: Photos of the vehicle and its position were not taken. There were no photos of the stairs of the bakery on which the vehicle was found. Bed sheets, pillow, clothes of the deceased were also not seized.

Prosecution said: Investigating officer had recorded statements of the injured witnesses within 3-4 days of the incident.

4. Another driver theory

Judge DW Desphande found that it was established beyond reasonable doubt that Khan was driving the vehicle and not driver Ashok Singh . The judgment said, “Singh is a got up witness who has come to help the accused on the instruction of the father of the accused. The accused never told the officer who recorded the FIR or the investigating officer that the car tyre had burst.

5. 'Salman was drunk'

According to the court, the accused was not in the position to think in order to apply the brakes and the vehicle climbed the stairs after crushing one man and injuring four others. This established that the accused must have been tipsy.

The court, however, said it was, indeed, extremely difficult to assess or judge when the liquor would show its effect.

6. Unanswered questions

After the accident, Salman Khan and singer Kamaal Khan, who was also in the car, fled the spot. While Salman was arrested, why did the police not track down the singer the same day?

On October 2, a lookout notice was issued against Kamaal Khan, who was later traced to the international airport. Why was his statement recorded only on October 4, 2002.


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