Adding a new argument in the appeal filed by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan against his conviction in the 2002 hit-run-case, his lawyer today told the Bombay High Court that the prosecution did not examine several important witnesses including the actor’s brother Sohail Khan or the other members of his family.
The main allegation is that Salman was drunk when the mishap — in which one person was killed — took place but the witnesses were mum on this aspect, said advocate Amit Desai, arguing before Justice A R Joshi.
“The star witness is late Ravindra Patil, the then police bodyguard of Salman. He does not speak a word about Salman consuming alcohol or smelling of alcohol in his first complaint,” said Desai.
“Prosecution witness-6 (Balu Muthe), the security guard of Sohail Khan, also does not speak anything on this issue… He is an important witness for the prosecution, he goes in a car with Sohail Khan and Vikram Fadnis from Salman’s Galaxy Apartments to the Rain Bar & Restaurant….However, when Salman Khan comes out of the Rain Bar, the witness is silent (about the actor’s condition).
“Whether he (Salman) was smelling of alcohol? Whether he was slurring? There is nothing to suggest that he had taken alcohol at Rain Bar…He (Muthe) also did not say anything about who was in the driver’s seat,” Desai said.
“Sohail Khan was not examined, singer Kamaal Khan, who had accompanied Salman in the car, also was not examined. Vikram Fadnis too was not examined.”
Except for the Rain Bar Manager Rizwan Ali Rakhangi and waiter Malay Semerendra Bag, none of the other persons present there was examined, Desai said. According to the police, Salman had taken drinks at this bar before the accident.
Fifteen parking attendants of J W Marriott hotel (where Salman had reportedly visited before the mishap) except one (Kalpesh Verma) and none of the hotel staff were examined.
The prosecution also didn’t examine Salman Khan’s relatives at Galaxy Apartments and the wife of PW7 (Francis Fernandes) who took him away in a taxi from the mishap site, said Desai.