2002 hit-and-run case: High Court judgement on Salman Khan’s appeal this week

The Bombay High Court last week announced that it will deliver its verdict on the Bollywood megastar Salman Khan appeal against the five-year sentence in the 2002 hit-and-run case from Monday.

Justice AR Joshi will start dictating his order on the actor’s appeal challenging his conviction and five-year jail term awarded by the sessions court last May in the 28 September, 2002, accident which left one pavement dweller dead and four others injured.

The high court on Friday posted for Monday the dictation of judgement even as Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai said the actor’s driver Ashok Singh was the only one who had correctly described the route taken from JW Marriot Hotel at Juhu to the accident site in Bandra.

Singh had appeared as a defence witness at the fag end of the trial in the lower court after Salman’s statement was recorded under Criminal Procedure Code’s section 313 by Additional Sessions Judge DW Deshpande.

At that time, Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat had questioned the credentials of a witness who suddenly turned up after nearly 13 years.

In his summing up points, Desai contended that Singh’s testimony was of utmost importance and had material value to the case, even as there were several gaps in the statement of policeman Ravindra Patil, the deceased bodyguard of the actor.

The crucial judgement is expected even as Salman prepares to celebrate his 50th birthday on 27 December with the planned release of his biography, “Being Salman”.