2002 hit-and-run case: I wasn’t driving, wasn’t drunk, claims Salman Khan

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Mumbai: All eyes are set on the hit-and-run case in which Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, charged with killing one person and injuring four by ramming his car into a shop in 2002, stepped into the box on Friday to put up his defence and explain the circumstances that led to the mishap.

Salman Khan got an opportunity to give his version about the mishap that occurred in the wee hours of September 28, 2002 when his car ran over people sleeping on pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra here.

The actor repeatedly denied that he drove his Toyota Land Cruiser at high speed, in a drunk state. “My left door was jammed so I could not open it,” he said when the court asked him to respond to witnesses. The witness also included his bodyguard Ravindra Patil.

Salman said that his driver Ashok Singh was driving the car at the time of mishap. He did admit to sitting on the driver’s seat, but claimed he did so only briefly when his driver got out and another driver took over. When asked about the statement of a parking attendant, Salman said he didn’t remember.

He did not deny that he was at a bar with his brother Sohail before the accident took place, but he said he only drank water and never ordered any cocktails, as indicated by bills. The bills made out for drinks as well as food, were not his.

The actor also addressed the claims of him running away after the accident. “I instructed the driver to inform the police. I remained at the spot for 15 minutes or more,” he said. He only learnt later from his bodyguard that people were sleeping on the pavement and had come under his car.

After his statement is recorded, Khan would also get an opportunity to examine defence witnesses if he wants to do so. The court would then hear arguments of both the sides before giving its verdict, Gharat said.

This is a fresh trial being held in a sessions court after a magistrate added the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder which lays down punishment upto ten years.

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