Evidence of Salman's dead bodyguard can be used, says court

Evidence of Salman's dead bodyguard can be used, says court

The sessions court here today allowed the prosecution in the 2002 hit-and-run case to rely upon the statement of Ravindra Patil, an eye-witness who was actor Salman Khan's bodyguard and who died during the trial.

Patil, a police constable, died on October 3, 2007 in the midst of the earlier trial before the magistrate.

The prosecution had said that his statement, recorded by the magistrate, should be taken on record in this trial which is being conducted afresh after the charge of culpable homicide was pressed against the actor.

Patil had said in his statement that he was sitting beside Khan (when the accident had happened) and had warned him not to drive rashly but Khan did not heed the advice.

Patil, who was the one to lodge the complaint after the mishap, had also said that the actor was under the influence of alcohol then.

On September 28, 2002, Khan's car had rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one person and injuring four others who were sleeping on the pavement.

Judge D W Deshpande allowed both the prosecution and the defence to reply on Patil's statement. He said that opportunity would be given to Khan to explain the circumstances in which Patil made the statement.

The accused would also be given the opportunity to cross-examine the investigation officer in the context of evidence given by Patil and to clarify his own stand on it in the concluding defence argument, it said.

The value of Patil's evidence would be decided only later and not at this stage, the court said.

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