The defence lawyer in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving Salman Khan on Wednesday alleged that Mumbai police "tampered with" the Bollywood actor's blood samples to establish he was drunk so as to frame him in a false case.
Khan, accused of ramming his SUV into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four others, is facing the charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder'.
His lawyer Shrikant Shivade argued that Bombay Prohibition Rules prescribe that a doctor has to decide whether to draw a blood sample from a person, and not the police.
"In this case, Shashikant Pawar of JJ hospital has deposed that police asked him to test the sample... This shows an unholy nexus between the doctors and police," said Shivade, making his final argument before sessions judge DW Deshpande.
He also asked why Bandra police did not collect the blood samples at nearby Bhabha Hospital, instead of taking Khan to the government-run JJ Hospital in South Mumbai.
"There is a mention that blood collection facility was not available there. Is this possible? Bhabha Hospital is a reputed hospital. It has an operation theatre and an ICU," Shivade said.
The doctor who drew the sample was not wearing gloves, and he did not add anti-coagulants, which are used to prevent the collected blood from turning into semi-solid mass. Even the preservatives were not added, and in the absence of preservatives, there was a possibility of fermentation of the blood, Shivade said. "In such a case, the sample would indicate presence of alcohol even if alcohol has not been consumed by the person, or would show higher alcohol content (than consumed)," Khan's lawyer said.
He also claimed that the blood vials were kept in the same room where the tests were conducted, and not separately, so there was a possibility of contamination.
He argued that the Maharashtra medical code too was not followed and Khan's consent was not taken before extracting the blood.
"Consent was not taken....absence of this destroys further examination. The extraction of blood is destroyed (as evidence) because of non-consent," he said.
"Do you want to follow the procedure laid down here, or that of Namibia and Ethiopia," the defence lawyer asked.
Alleging tampering with blood samples, Shivade said the samples were collected on September 28, 2002, and sent for tests on September 30. The tests were carried out on October 1. "The evidence is silent about how it was kept, where it was kept and under whose custody," he said.
Shivade also said that samples were sealed by a ward boy, which was questionable.
The lawyer also sought to know how the actor's medical examination (after the mishap) was completed within five minutes. "The case paper shows that Salman was brought before the doctor at 2.55pm and was discharged at 3pm," he said, questioning testimonies of Dr Shashikant Pawar of JJ Hospital, and the then inspector of Bandra police station Kishen Shengal, who supervised the probe.