Key eye-witness silent on whether Salman was driving: Lawyer

Mumbai: Contending that Bollywood actor Salman Khan, sentenced to five years in jail in the 2002 hit-and-run accident case, was not driving the car, his lawyer today asked why the prosecution didn't ask a key eye-witness anything on this crucial aspect.

His lawyer Amit Desai today pointed out in the Bombay High Court that the prosecution did not ask Amin Kasam Shaikh, an eye-witness, as to who was driving the car when the accident took place.

Amin too was sleeping on the pavement near the accident spot in suburban Bandra, Desai said. The HC is now hearing Salman's appeal against his conviction.

Three witnesses, who were injured after the car ran over them, deposed that they had seen Salman getting down from the right side (driver's side). However, Amin, who wasn't run over (and hence could see what was happening), was not asked whether he had seen Salman in driver's seat, Desai said.

"He is closest to the spot...he is not beneath the car like other witnesses....and it is surprising that he sees nothing that supports the prosecution theory that injured witnesses have seen Salman Khan getting out from the right side or the driver's side of the car," Desai said.

"Why was he not asked about the position of Salman? Why Amin has not seen what other injured witnesses have reportedly seen that Salman was driving?" asked Desai.

Amin, in fact, was the best eye-witness as he saw the car hitting the shutter of a shop, he was not injured, and he was probably the first to reach the injured victims, Desai said.

Amin wasn't asked whether it was Salman who was driving, or it was Ashok Singh, his family driver (as claimed by the defence during the trial), argued Desai.

Desai also questioned why police took the injured victims to the municipal-run Bhabha Hospital when Holy Family, a private hospital, was close by. The arguments will continue on Monday.

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