Justice Thipsay questions if the offence warrants the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder; court also asks why alleged eyewitness Kamaal Khan was not cross-examined
Yesterday, the Bombay High Court granted relief to Salman Khan by suspending his five-year jail term and granting him bail till the appeal is decided. Justice A M Thipsay gave bail to Salman on condition that he surrender his passport and take permission from the same court whenever he has to travel abroad.
Salman Khan and his lawyer Shrikant Shivade come out of the Sessions court after the actor’s successful bail plea hearing on Friday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
He was asked to be present at the Sessions Court to execute the fresh bail bond. The High Court will now hear the matter on June 15 for further directions regarding the appeal. Senior advocate Amit Desai argued for suspension of the sentence, and Justice A M Thipsay admitted the appeal made by Salman against the conviction.
Desai argued, “Kamaal Khan, who was an eyewitness to the incident, was not examined. Ravindra Patil is an unwilling witness to prosecution but (was) made ready by police. He doesn’t even know what the route of the car was; he just said we were at St Andrews.
The accident was caused due to a tyre burst of the Toyota Land Cruiser. The major issue is also how many people were inside the car as prosecution says three and defence says four. Even a witness who was at the spot said that there were four people in the car, and the manager of the Rain Bar also said there were four people in the car.
Ashok Singh was investigated and interrogated by the police (and) was not examined by the prosecution.”To this, Justice Thipsay raised the question, “How come only Patil was examined (and not Kamaal, as Kamaal and Patil were the eyewitnesses)?” The prosecution, however, argued, “Kamaal was not examined because he wasn’t available for the evidence; Khan was very well under the influence of alcohol as the CA (chemical analyst) report says that.”
Freedom, for now
While delivering the order, Justice Thipsay said, “Even on the basis that there is sufficient evidence to indicate that he (Salman) was driving the vehicle in question, certainly a number of arguable points have been raised, which need consideration. Among the issues is whether the offence amounts to Section 304-II of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Normally in such cases, the state does not oppose suspension of sentence during pendency of appeal in cases of accused who are on bail during trial. This is not a case where during pendency of appeal, the convict should be kept in detention. This application is allowed.”
Salman came to the Sessions Court at 5.30 pm, where Judge D W Deshpande told him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 30,000 and furnish a surety of the same amount for obtaining regular bail. He was then rushed to the registrar’s office, where he completed the procedure quickly and left the court at 5.50 pm. Alvira, Salman’s sister, who has been present at each and every hearing, said, “I am relieved that I am going back home with him.”