Mumbai: The prosecution in the 2002 hit-and-run case, in which Bollywood star Salman Khan was convicted, could not establish conclusively that he had tested positive for alcohol and the records in this regard were suspect, his lawyer today told the Bombay High Court.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan

According to the police, Salman, driving in a drunken condition, rammed his car into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four. "The seal and vials (of Salman's blood samples) were not preserved and this creates a doubt whether the blood samples were that of Salman or someone else's," said his lawyer Amit Desai, arguing the actor's appeal before Justice A R Joshi.

It wasn't clear whether the police constable in fact delivered the samples from JJ Hospital to Bandra police station (to be passed on to the forensice lab); the prosecution also did not examine the constable who brought
Salman to the hospital. "All this puts a heavy burden on prosecution to prove that Salman had taken drinks," said the lawyer.

The prescribed procedure for collecting blood sample after a mishap was not followed nor did the police obtain Salman's written consent before taking blood sample, he said. In the Emergency Patients Record or the casualty register at the hospital, Desai said the word 'alcohol' was included by drawing a mark but the carbon copy of the register page shows the word written at the bottom of the page.

"This indicates that the word 'alcohol' had not been omitted inadvertently," the lawyer submitted. As the seals and vials of the blood samples were not preserved, only labels were available for the record purpose,
which can be used only for identification, said Salman's lawyer, adding that this raises the question whether the samples, which tested positive for alcohol, indeed belonged to Salman.

Signature of the concerned police officer of Bandra police station was not taken to establish that the hospital had handed over the sealed samples to police, said advocate Desai.

The records were manipulated to show that the actor had taken drinks before the accident, he alleged. Salman's defence is that he had not had drinks at the Rain Bar where he and his friends had gone on the evening of
September 28. On May 6 this year, the sessions court here sentenced the actor to five years in prison for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He is currently out on bail.

Arguments on his appeal would continue tomorrow.