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Panchnama, site map fabricated to falsely book Salman: lawyer

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The lawyer of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan today argued in the Bombay High Court that the panchnama and site maps were fabricated by police to falsely book the actor under the grave charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the 2002-hit-and-run case.

The HC is hearing an appeal filed by Salman who was awarded a five-year sentence on May 6 after a sessions court found him guilty of ramming his car into a shop in 2002, killing one person and injuring four others sleeping outside.

“The panchnama and site maps are fabricated and cannot be relied upon… These were prepared to invoke section 304 II of IPC (culpable homicide) and also to add the element of ‘drunkness and rashness’ to make the charges graver”, argued Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai.

“Not just this, the police and prosecuting agency had ignored the statement of Salman Khan’s family driver Ashok Singh who has claimed that he was driving the car on the ill-fated day when the mishap occurred,” Desai submitted.

“Ashok Singh (Salman’s driver and defence witness) came to you (Bandra police station)…You did not interrogate him, you did not record his statement, you have not cared to investigate,” the lawyer said.

Moreover, crucial witnesses like Salman’s actor-brother Sohail, who was with Salman at ‘Rain Bar and Restaurant’ and singer Kamaal Khan, who was also in the bar and in the actor’s car when the mishap had occurred, were not examined in the court, Desai said

“Besides, police constable late Ravindra Patil’s claim that there was a dent in a stutter at A-1 Bakery-American Express Laundry because of the impact of the accident, does not corroborate what Samba Gowda, the panch-witness, has said in his statement,” the lawyer argued.

This panch-witness was not at the spot, the lawyer alleged. To prove this, he tabled before the court the damaged portion of the car’s bumper and a piece of the shop’s shutter.

Desai said “there is a scratch but not a dent or a hole” as claimed by Ravindra Patil — Salman’s then bodyguard and the first informant who lodged FIR after the mishap.