Salman Khan drunk at the time of accident, says Prosecution

| Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:22
First Published |

MUMBAI: Attempting to further nail Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case, the prosecution on Wednesday cited evidence to prove that the Bollywood star was indeed under the influence of alcohol and his Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle did not have any mechanical defects.

Public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat had on Tuesday forcefully argued that Salman and his friend Kamaal Khan had fled from the accident site without helping the victims on the night of September 28, 2002.

Continuing his arguments on Wednesday, Gharat told Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande that there was no tampering with the actor's blood samples.

He connected the evidence of four prosecution witnesses -- medico Shashikant Pawar of Sir J.J. Hospital who took the blood sample, Bandra policemen Vijay Salunkhe who accompanied Salman to the hospital, and Sharad Gorade who carried the sample to the Forensics Science Laboratory and chemical analyst D. Balachander who analysed the blood sample.

"Balachander has proved that the accused (Salman) has consumed alcohol. The analysis revealed the presence of 62 mg alcohol in 100 ml blood. There is no reason to doubt the witness," Gharat said, explaining the procedure the chemical analyst had adopted for checking the blood sample.

Gharat said that after Pawar took the blood sample, he sealed it properly so there was no possibility of tampering, the police constable delivered it to the Bandra police station's then in-charge, Senior Inspector Kishan Shengal, and then it was taken by Gorade to chemical analyst Balachander who received it intact.

On the question of defence arguments pointing at mechanical defects in the vehicle leading to the accident, Gharat cited the evidence of investigation officer Rajendra Kadam who had not touched the vehicle or started the ignition and it was taken to the police station, where a region transport office inspector Rajendra Keskar inspected it.

"The evidence on record shows that the person driving the car was under the influence of alcohol and could not control it," Gharat argued, referring to the defence claims that stones and rubble on the road could have made the vehicle veer off the road.

However, Gharat made a strong plea seeking re-examination of Keskar, who he said answered all questions during examination, but did not answer properly during cross-examination.

"The witness said during cross-examination that he inspected the vehicle for two-three seconds. Is it possible? He is a mechanical engineer and had been examining vehicles for four years, and then during cross-examination said he has experience of inspecting only one Indica car during his training session. He is an unreliable witness," Gharat argued, seeking Keskar's re-examination.

The arguments will continue before Judge Deshpande on Thursday.

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