Court to record Salman's testimony

Court to record Salman's testimony

The trial in the hit-and-run case involving Salman Khan reached a crucial stage, and the actor's statement will be recorded by the Mumbai sessions court from March 27.

The retrial of the 13-year-old case is being heard by additional sessions judge D W Deshpande.

The statement of Khan, 49, will be recorded under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It enables the accused to explain circumstances appearing in the evidence against him, and also present his side of the story.  The judge will also be able to question the accused on various aspects of the case.

Khan is charged with ramming his white Toyota Land Cruiser car into a bakery shop in Bandra, killing one person and injuring four others sleeping outside on the pavement, on September 28, 2002.

The actor was reportedly in an inebriated state at the time of the accident, and fled the scene of crime on Hill Road.

Earlier he was tried before the magistrate court in Bandra, but it was transferred midway to the sessions court as the provision of culpable homicide not amounting to murder — which attracts a maximum sentence of 10 years — was added to the charges.
Judge D W Deshpande passed orders to this effect after consulting the prosecutor and defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade.

About 25 witnesses have already given their testimony in this case. Investigation Officer (IO) Kishan Shengal is currently deposing before the court.

The court is yet to pass an order on an application moved by the defence lawyer seeking to recall another investigating officer, Rajendra Kadam. The prosecution has opposed the plea.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, IO Shengal told the defence lawyer he did not know whether fingerprints were obtained from the steering and driver's seat of the vehicle, though he admitted that it was important in determining who was driving the car.

To another question, Shengal said he had obtained Khan's fingerprints but was unaware whether forensic experts had taken fingerprints from the area of the driver's seat in the vehicle.

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