2002 hit-and-run case: Prosecution calls Salman Khan’s driver a dummy witness

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Mumbai: The prosecution on Wednesday countered Salman Khan’s statement in the 2002 hit-and-run case, stating that evidence pertaining to the presence of a fourth person in the car being Salman Khan’s driver Ashok Singh was “never suggested’ before and this defence was only developed when the actor appeared in court.

Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat called Singh a “dummy witness” and further said that Salman’s defence was that the accident “was an act of God. It was a mechanical defect and not the fault of the driver”.

Maintaining that during the incident, three people were travelling in the car, Gharat said they were singer Kamal Khan, Salman’s bodyguard Ravindra Patil and the actor himself. “If attempt is to show that they were not the only three people travelling, but one more was there, not even a remote suggestion  was made that this was defence witness Ashok Singh (driver). This defence has been developed only at the time of producing him,” he said. The final arguments by Gharat will continue in court on April 6.

In the early hours of September 28, 2002, Salman’s white Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into a shop in suburban Bandra, near his sea-front residence in Galaxy Apartments, killing one person and injuring four others, who were sleeping outside on the pavement.

Singh had on Monday said that he was driving the car during the night of the accident, which according to him had occurred due to bursting of a tyre. The prosecution said the theory of the tyre bursting was incorrect and illogical.

“Ashok Singh had stated that the road was smooth to drive so there was no possibility of bursting of tyre as suggested by him. The car tyre may burst if it comes in contact with a sharp edge. But during the accident, it only hit the  stairs it climbed,” he added.

Gharat also said that the theory of speeding, leaving road and climbing the footpath cannot be acceptable as there was an indicator panel facility provided in the car. “The driver of the said vehicle, who is actor Salman Khan, is supposed to see and keep an eye on the indicator. If there is any defect in any part of the car it shows in the indicator panel. If one fails to observe the indicator, it is an act of rashness and negligence. The accused particularly had knowledge of which place he was passing and what failure on his part would result in,” said continued…

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