2002 hit-and-run case: 'Needed crane to free trapped victims,' cop tells court

The investigating officer who had registered the case against actor Salman Khan told the court that it was not possible to remove the victims from under the Land Cruiser since they were stuck under the vehicle

Continuing the trial of the 2002 hit-and-run case involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan, the Sessions Court yesterday heard the statements of another witness, the former investigating officer who had booked Khan then. The cop told the court it was not possible to remove the victims from under the car, which had run them over, without the help of a crane.

Salman Khan outside the Bandra Sessions court yesterday. He has been asked to be present for the hearing today as well. Pic/PTI
Salman Khan outside the Bandra Sessions court yesterday. He has been asked to be present for the hearing today as well. Pic/PTI

Police Inspector Rajendra Kadam, who was then attached to Bandra police station, was one of the investigating officers in the case. In his cross-examination by Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, Kadam said, “On September 28, 2002, I got a call saying a vehicle had dashed into American Express bakery on Hill Road.

When I reached the spot, I saw people had gathered and a Land Cruiser had rammed into the shutter of American Express. I saw four people had been injured in the accident and one was dead. The control room called for a crane and we immediately took the injured to Bhabha Hospital.” Kadam continued, saying that Ravindra Patil, the constable who was then Khan’s bodyguard, was being pushed around.

“We pulled Patil out and he told us what had happened. We recorded his statement at the police station and registered the case against Salman Khan under Sections 304A (death by negligence), 279 (rash driving) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), and Section 134 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

I did not find Khan at the spot. In the morning, we went to his house in Galaxy Apartments, which is 200 metres from the accident spot. We didn’t find the accused there as well.” Kadam described the vehicle, “It had climbed three steps of American bakery. The number plate was lying on the spot.

The colour of the vehicle was white.” Khan, dressed in blue denims and blue shirt, was seen sitting in the front row with his sister, Alvira. He was seen constantly talking to his advocate, Shrikant Shivade.

Defence examines
During the cross-examination by Khan’s lawyer, Kadam said, “The front left tyre had burst and it had blood on it. It was not possible to remove the people (from under the vehicle) without a crane, as they had gotten entangled in the car.

The car was lifted by its front end.” Today, Kadam and the second investigation officer will testify in the witness box. Khan has also been asked to be present. The actor is being tried for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and rash driving in the incident that killed one and injured four others sleeping on the pavement outside the bakery.

According to the prosecution, Khan was allegedly under the influence of liquor while driving the car and had left the spot as soon as he met with the accident.

- Inputs from Agencies

Case diaries to be produced
The defence also moved an application asking Bandra police station to produce the case diaries in the next hearing on Friday (today), in order to go through the entries made by the investigation officer on the first three days from the date of the mishap and cross-examine him. The prosecutor said he had no objection to the production of the case diaries provided they were exhibited as evidence in the court. Judge D W Deshpande allowed the same.

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