Mumbai, Nov 5:
A witness in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving bollywood actor Salman Khan informed a court here Wednesday that the actor was not reeking of liquor when he met him at his home a few hours after the accident.
“I met him and hugged him, but he did not smell of alcohol,” Pandey told Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande.
Pandey was deposing in the hit-and-run case of Sep 28, 2002, in which Khan’s car had rammed into a bakery in Bandra suburb, killing one pavement dweller and injuring four others who were sleeping there.
In his cross-examination, Pandey told Khan’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade that the accident site near the American Express Bakery was always busy with slow vehicular traffic.
When prosecutor Pradeep Gharat re-examined him on the same point, Pandey responded that the the traffic was not always heavy at that junction.
Pandey also informed the court that he had assisted Khan buy an imported vehicle for Rs.1.40 million from one owner, Abdul Rehman through a customs clearing agent.
Another witness Salim Patel, a customs clearing agent who helped Khan acquire the vehicle after it was imported from Dubai and cleared by the customs explained the relevant procedures to the court.
Khan was Wednesday exempted from personal appearance in the court as he is tied up with the wedding preparations of his younger sister Arpita, but he has been directed to remain present Nov 24 and 25 when other witnesses shall be examined.
The Sessions Court had Dec 5 ordered a re-trial of the case on grounds that some witnesses had not been examined in connection with the enhanced charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ slapped on Khan by a magistrate half-way through the hearing in the trial court.
Khan was earlier tried for the less serious offence of causing death by negligence which stipulated a jail term of two years. The enhanced sections attract a 10-year prison sentence.