Salman Khan's hit-and-run case: Prosecution wants depositions on two key witnesses

The prosecution in the hit-and-run accident trial involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan Monday filed an application seeking to lead evidence of two crucial witnesses who were presently not available to the court. While was was the former police bodyguard of Khan who had first filed the complaint in the accident case and the other was a medico who performed the autopsy on a victim who was killed in the accident in September 2002.

Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat contended before Additional Sessions Judge D. W. Deshpande that the police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who died due to natural causes during the trial, had given a statement to a magistrate how he had warned Khan not to drive rashly or he could meet with an accident, but went unheeded. The medico who performed the autopsy on the dead victim in the accident had now settled in the USA, but he had also given his statement to a magistrate on the post-mortem, Gharat informed the court.


Salman Khan

He said the statements of both witnesses, recorded by a magistrate in the trial were crucial. The case had been transferred by the magistrate court to the sessions court in 2013 after an enhanced charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was added against the actor. As the sessions court started the trial afresh, evidence is being led again for which the prosecution has sought to bring on record statements of the witnesses which were already given earlier to a magistrate.

Earlier Monday, a chemical analyst who analysed the blood-alcohol test reports of the Bollywood actor, fumbed before the court during the cross-examination by the defence counsel on a variety of issues. Khan's lawyer Shrikant Shivade asked him wide-ranging questions pertaining to colour perceptions of people, whether light conditions impacted readings, the chemical name of iodine solution, etc.

To a query on what happens when oxidizing agents react, or chemical name of iodine solution, the witness said he was not aware, but the oxidizing agents used in the blood test sample of the actor, were potassium dichromate and sulphuric acid. "I am asking you these questions as they pertain to the tests you had conducted," Shivade said. To a query why iodine solution is kept or preserved in a coloured bottle and whether iodine is volatile or non-volatile solution, whether it evaporates, the chemist said he was not aware.

Similarly, when the chemist said that the iodine solution must be fresh, he could not provide a satisfactory answer as to within what time it must be used, nor was he aware of the meaning of catalysation, redox titration, and whether he had checked the accuracy of the volumetric glass when it came to him. To Shivade's poser on whether improper reagents or solutions could affect the readings, he replied in the affirmative.

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