In an attempt to weaken the case of the prosecution, actor Salman Khan’s lawyer told the Bombay high court on Wednesday that constable Ravindra Patil’s statement is inadmissible under relevant sections of the law.
Arguing before justice AR Joshi, senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing for Khan, said the prosecution’s key witness, constable Ravindra Patil who died in October 2007, recorded his statement before the magistrate in 2006. Desai said a statement is not evidence, therefore under section 33 of the Indian Evidence Act and section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code it becomes inadmissible and must be rejected.
He cited Supreme Court judgments on how the prosecution should have examined the available witnesses instead of putting Patil’s statement on record. Desai said he should have been examined at an early stage of the trial and not the fag end of the cross examination. He said the prosecution did not dispute over Kamal Khan being in the car, then why did they choose to put Patil’s statement on record.
He also said not bringing Kamal to testify creates a prejudice in the mind as the defence did not get a chance to cross-examine him. Desai said a live eyewitness is better than a dead one and the court has to and needs to look at the facts in totality.
In September 2002, Khan’s Toyota Land Cruiser crashed into a bakery in Bandra, killing one and injuring four others who were sleeping on a pavement.