From drinking water, to a tyre burst to the victim dying during the rescue operation — the defence tried every trick in the book to prove that Salman Khan was not responsible for the accident on September 28, 2002. But the sessions court shot down all the claims, convicting him of culpable homicide in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
In his detailed 240-page order, additional sessions judge DW Deshpande said Khan was aware that he should not drive without a licence and that he should not take the wheel after consuming liquor.
“There was 0.062mg of alcohol in the blood of the accused,” said the judgment, which went on to say that the actor also knew that “poor labourers were sleeping in front of the American Express laundry”.
“As the accused is a regular customer of Rain Bar, he might have crossed the American Express Laundry a number of times,” the judgment said. “He had knowledge that there is likelihood of his meeting with an accident that could result in death or injuries, particularly those sleeping on the footpath,” the trial court observed.
Khan’s advocate had submitted that it took the actor 30 minutes from JW Marriott Hotel in Juhu to reach the spot of the accident. “If the vehicle was not in speed, a tyre would not have burst and it could have been stopped on the spot by applying the brakes, as the car had ABS system,” observed the court.
The accused was not in the position to think in order to apply the brakes….So it goes to establish that he must have been a little tipsy because of the drinks he had consumed some time ago,” the judgment said.
The court also held that prosecution witness Ravindra Patil, Khan’s former bodyguard and a police constable who died in 2007, was a natural and impartial witness.
The judge said though Patil did not mention about Khan being drunk in the FIR after the incident, he added it in his deposition, which, the judge said, could be believed as he was an ‘impartial witness’.
The judge also held that Nurulla Sharif died because the car ran over him and not because of the bumper of the car falling on him.
“Nurulla sustained multiple crash injuries over his head, neck, chest and abdomen. Both his arms and the skull were crushed… The car ran over a sleeping Nurulla’s head and chest portion,” the judge said.
The court also did not accept the evidence of witness Abdul Shaikh, who was also injured, who claimed he had heard Nurulla shouting and crying in pain till the car was lifted.