In a bid to prove that the September 2002 accident involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan's vehicle was a 'hit-and-run' case, the prosecution on Tuesday said the film star had 'vanished' from the scene of the accident instead of helping the injured victims and cited testimony of two witnesses in the case.
Bollywood actor Salman Khan at the Sessions Court in Mumbai on Monday in connection with the 2002 hit and run case. Pic/PTI
During final arguments before Additonal Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande, Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said "conduct of the accused needs to be analysed, interpreted and this proves the guilt".
Judge Deshpande is conducting the re-trial of the September 28, 2002 accident case involving Salman's Toyota Land Cruiser which rammed into the American Express Bakery in Bandra west and killed one pavement dweller and injured four others.
Citing the testimony of witnesses, Francis Fernandes, who is also a friend of Salman and lives in the vicinity of the spot, and Ramashray Pandey, Gharat said their statements make it clear that the actor had run away from the spot after the accident.
Moreover, he pointed out that the accident site was a sharp turn and Salman did not realise it as he was under the influence of liquor. Salman has earlier denied that he was driving the vehicle or had consumed liquor earlier that night.
Gharat said Fernandes and his wife Marai rushed out of their home on hearing the commotion and because he knew Salman, saved him from the wrath of the public, including two armed with rods and others with stones.
"If the driver witness (Ashok Singh) was there, it would have been different. Would the mob have spared him and attacked Salman? Men may lie, but circumstances do not," he said, again rejecting Singh's confession that he was driving the vehicle that night.
Fernandes even managed to stop a car and Salman, his friend Kamaal Khan and police bodyguard Ravindra Pratil went in it, showing that they did not help the people trapped under Salman's vehicle, Gharat noted.
He referred to Pandey's testimony saying he had seen Salman alighting from the right side of the car and the trio had left in a car.