In the infamous 2002 hit-and-run case involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan, the Bombay High court on Tuesday started dictation of the verdict, and observed that the FIR was silent on the issue of “drunkenness” of the actor, which cannot be considered as “minor.”
During the dictation of the judgement, Justice A R Joshi observed: “The FIR is silent on the issue of the drunkenness of the appellant…This ommission of witness cannot be considered as minor.”
The Judge said that the prosecution witness PW-3 i.E Mannu Khan had testified that it appeared to him that Salman was drunk because he fell down twice after getting down from the car at the accident spot, then got up and left the place.
Justice Joshi observed that “it appears that the first informant (Ravindra Patil) has lost sight of this when he filed the FIR as it does not mention the word ‘alcohol’.Â Moreover, PW-3 i.E Mannu Khan, has been examined 12 years after the incident. He (PW-3) has to be viewed in juxtaposition with the FIR, the Judge said.
Saying that the trial court had erred in trying him for his offence, the actor challenged the session court verdict which had sentence him to five years imprisonment on IPC charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The Judge said he will give a ruling on applicability of culpable homicide charge against Salman and also on other key questions like the admissibility of a statement made by the actor’s former bodyguard (before a magistrate) Ravindra Patil as evidence under section 33 of Indian Evidence Act.
The Dabaang actor has argued that there were four persons in the car, including his family driver Ashok Singh who was driving the car. Against it, the prosecution claimed that there were only three persons â€“ Salman Khan, Bodyguard and singer Kamal Khan.
The actor was, in May, sentenced to five years in jail by a lower court after he was convicted of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’.
On September 28, 2002, Salman’s Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into American Express Bakery on Hill Road junction in Bandra and ran over a group of sleeping people. One person was killed in the accident and four others were injured in the incident.