Mumbai: The sessions court here, which is conducting the trial in the hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan, today took on record replies submitted by the Regional Transport Offices and the Excise Department stating that he did not possess a driving licence or a liquor permit at the time of the 2002 mishap.
Salman Khan outside the Bandra Sessions court last week. Pic/PTI
Bandra police, who investigated the case, had written to RTOs in suburban Andheri and Wadala and the Excise Department seeking information as to whether the Bollywood actor held a driving licence and a liquor permit.
The police's letters and respective replies were submitted by Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat before judge D W Deshpande. Khan's lawyer advocate Shrikant Shivade said these documents should have been submitted along with the charge-sheet and not now when the trial had reached the fag-end. But the judge took them on record.
Their value as evidence would be decided at the time of final arguments, said the judge. Khan is charged with ramming his car into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four who were sleeping on the pavement. He was drunk at the time, according to the police.
The replies of RTO and Excise authorities are important as they declare that Khan had liquor outside his house without a permit and then driven his SUV when he did not even have a driving license. Meanwhile, the defence lawyer today filed an application seeking to recall investigating officer Ravindra Kadam as it wanted to question him about the charge of culpable homicide which was invoked against Salman in 2013.
The lawyer said he would like to cross-examine Kadam as Khan's bodyguard, constable Ravindra Patil, the eye-witness to the mishap, is no more. The prosecution objected, saying that the accused's lawyer had had enough opportunity to cross-examine Kadam.
The judge asked Gharat to file a written reply to the application on the next date, March 24. A fresh trial of the actor is being conducted in the case before the sessions court after the aggravated charge of culpable homicide was invoked. It provides for imprisonment of upto ten years.
Earlier, the trial was being conducted by a magistrate where the actor was charged with rash and negligent driving which attracts only two years' jail term.
About 25 witnesses have been examined so far. The court has indicated that it would soon record Khan's own defence statement.