In another development in the Salman Khan 2002 hit-and-run case, a prime witness has alleged that his former advocate offered him Rs 5 lakh to change his statement.

Salman Khan arrives at the Sessions Court on Tuesday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Salman Khan outside sessions court yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Muslim Niyamat Sheikh (26) was one of the four people injured when the actor’s Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into the American Express Bakery on Bandra’s Hill Road. One person was killed in the incident that occurred on September 28, 2002.

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Salman Khan arrives at the Sessions court for a hearing in the hit-and-run case yesterday. Pic/PTI
Salman Khan arrives at the Sessions court for a hearing in the hit-and-run case yesterday. Pic/PTI

In an affidavit filed with the court yesterday, Sheikh has alleged that his former lawyer, Mukesh Pandey, tried to influence him to change his statement by offering him a bribe.

The alleged conversation between Muslim Sheikh and the advocate in which the witness is offered Rs 5 lakh to turn hostile
The alleged conversation between Muslim Sheikh and the advocate in which the witness is offered Rs 5 lakh to turn hostile

Pandey is said to have been instrumental in helping the victims, including Sheikh, to get compensation. He also reportedly helped them open bank accounts and stood guarantor for them. As per the affidavit filed in the court, Sheikh received two phone calls from the same number on Sunday at around 9.30 pm (see conversation).

In the first call, a man told him: “Paanch lakh le lo aur palat jao” (take R5 lakh and change your statement). When Sheikh refused the offer, the man called him again. This time, the witness disconnected the call. The next day i.e. Monday, Sheikh approached the Bandra police and submitted a written complaint, seeking a probe into the matter.

Investigations by cops revealed that the SIM card from which the call was made, was registered in the name of Pandey, a High Court lawyer. Police said that the same evening around 6 pm they traced Pandey’s address, but he was not available at home. A small kid who received the police team at his residence gave them the advocate’s card. The police subsequently left.

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Copspeak
Senior police inspector Ramchandra Dhawale of Bandra police station said, “We have received an order from the court to investigate the matter. We will appoint an inspector-level officer in the case, who will properly look into the matter and submit a report in the next hearing. The court will decide if an FIR is to be lodged.”

Police said that till date, there is no mention or allegation against Salman Khan. Khan had earlier been booked for rash and negligent driving and other charges. The court is conducting a re-trial of the case, after charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder were added recently. The offence attracts a ten-year sentence.