A Mumbai sessions court on Saturday permitted the prosecution in the Salman Khan hit-and-run case to rely on the statements of his deceased bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who was a witness to the 2002 accident, and a medico who performed the autopsy on the accident victim.
Patil, a police bodyguard, died in October 2007 due to natural causes when the trial was underway before the magistrate court, while Sanap, the doctor who performed the autopsy, lives in the US.
The late Patil had earlier recorded his statement before a magistrate, which the prosecution demanded should be taken on record in the ongoing fresh trial in the sessions court after the additional charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was slapped against Salman Khan.
In his statement, Patil said he was sitting next to Salman Khan and warned him against rash-driving but the actor did not heed the advice.
Later, he lodged the police complaint after the accident in which a pavement dweller was killed and four others were injured in Bandra in the early morning of September 28, 2002.
Judge D.W. Deshpande allowed the prosecution and defence to file their replies on Patil's statement and said Salman Khan would be granted an opportunity to have his say in the matter and cross-examine the investigation officer.
Salman Khan's lawyer Shrikant Shivade had opposed prosecutor Pradeep Gharat's application, contending it would be prejudicial to his client.
Judge Deshpande also allowed the prosecution to rely on the statement of Sanap, who had conducted the autopsy on the accident victim.
However, Shivade said he accepted the autopsy report and would not claim it would cause prejudice to Salman Khan.
The next hearing will be held on March 12.
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