Hit-and-run case: The lawyers who saved Salman Khan

Lawyers from legal firm DSK and top advocates Amit Desai and Niranjan Mundergi strategised, and scrutinised every loophole in the 2002 hit-and-run case

A team of eight, including lawyers from the legal firm DSK, and top advocates Amit Desai and Niranjan Mundergi helped Bollywood star Salman Khan get acquittal in the hit-and-run case of 2002. The team scrutinized each and every loophole that the investigators had left in the case and helped Salman walk free on Thursday.

The team that helped Salman: Advocate Amit Desai (second from right) said it was a tough case because of the complexity of the law and facts. Pic/Atul Kamble
The team that helped Salman: Advocate Amit Desai (second from right) said it was a tough case because of the complexity of the law and facts. Pic/Atul Kamble

The team of lawyers also included Shrikant Shivade, Anand Desai, Chandrima Mitra, Manhar S Saini, Mansi Vyas and Naushar Kohli. The DSK team had worked on the case at the Sessions Court, and approached senior advocate Amit Desai for the appeal in the High Court.

To begin with, Desai bailed Salman, and got suspension of the sentence of the conviction of five years of jail term under culpable homicide not amounting to murder, in just two days.

The second important step the DSK team and Desai took, was to argue for the appeal against the Sessions Court’s order in the High Court. The matter was kept before Justice A R Joshi who initially kept it on a day-to-day basis. This led to immediate judgment. The team was supported by counsel Niranjan Mundergi in the matter.

Speaking to mid-day, one of the advocates said, “To start with, Desai and Mundergi were briefed by the DSK team for the initial days. Then they strategised how to approach the case. During these meetings, the team worked on the anomalies in the police investigations.” The cross examination and the arguments at Sessions Court also played a major role in the team’s approach.

On how the case was strategised, Desai said, “There was a critical analysis of the case and then things were brought on record. Definitely, the court saw the pitfalls in the investigation which has led to acquittal.” Desai further said, “The Sessions court decision of five years of jail term had created negative perception in the minds of the public. It was a tough case because of the complexity of the law and facts.”

“There was clear deficiency in prosecution’s case including witnesses during deposition claiming different things after 13 years of incident. The court also recognised improvements in the statement of Ravindra Patil,” he said.

Desai further added that their strong defence throughout the case was that, “Salman was not driving the car. He did not consume alcohol. The accident was caused by driver Ashok Singh. There was no eyewitness who said Salman was drinking. The blood samples were not extracted properly and the process was not properly initiated. There was no investigation of the tyre burst and it was also not sent to forensic experts.”

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1 Comments

  • Mohan12-Dec-2015

    Amit Desai advocate was the lead lawyer on this case I think. That's some very good legal work

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