Actor Salman Khan’s lawyer told the Bombay high court (HC) on Monday the victims injured in the hit-and-run incident in 2002 were tutored to say Khan was driving the car, which rammed into the pavement in Bandra and killed one. The arguments against the actor’s five-year conviction by the sessions court resumed after justice AR Joshi ordered that the appeal paperwork of the trial be prepared afresh.
Senior counsel Amit Desai appearing for Khan said all the 27 prosecution witnesses cannot be termed as eyewitnesses. “When one of the victims was asked what the people were saying at the time of the accident and not what he saw, his said ‘I heard people say Khan was there’ and not ‘I saw him there’." Desai said, as a victim, his focus would have been on his pain and injury. “Then how can he say Khan was driving the car?”
Talking about the second victim, Desai said, “Before the magistrate in Bandra, he said he didn’t see anyone getting out of the car, but when he deposed before the sessions court judge, he said that the actor was driving.”
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Desai said the prosecution did not mention the left side of the car was damaged and came up with a theory and tutored the poor people.
Desai brought to the notice of the court that the third victim had said the car was stationary, but he saw Khan driving. As per the victim’s testimony, Salman Khan was drunk and he fell down. “When he was injured, how did he see Khan in the dark?” said Desai, adding, “How can he say the actor fell because he was drunk? He could have fallen even after tripping.” Desai said people who are not drunk also fall and proposed his testimony should be rejected.
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The fourth victim’s testimony also stated he saw Khan getting out from the right side of the car, but does not say he was driving or was drunk. And the last victim had said Khan was drunk, but was standing. Desai concluded his arguments by saying the prosecution should rely upon direct evidence and not create it. The arguments will continue on September 22.