PIL seeks probe into death of Salman's guard

HC likely to hear plea soon
Last Updated 25 June 2015, 21:02 IST

The 13-year-old drunken-driving and hit-and-run case involving Salman Khan may take a new turn as a social activist has filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking probe into the circumstances that led to the death of police constable Ravindra Patil, the eyewitness whose testimony was crucial in the case.


Pune-based Patil, the president of Rashtriya Bhrastachar Virodhi Janshakti and a regular petitioner in the Bombay High Court, filed the plea which will come up for hearing in due course.

Lawyer R N Kachave, appearing for the petitioner, has pointed out in the petition: “Something wrong had occurred and Patil had died under suspicious circumstances and this needs to be probed.”

The petition alleged that because of fear about Salman and his associates, the witness failed to appear before the court which had issued a non-bailable warrant against him. After his release from jail, Patil disappeared and much later was traced to a hotel in Mahabaleshwar. A task force had been formed by police to track him down. Finally, Patil was found in a Sewree hospital after he had contracted tuberculosis. He died on October 4, 2007. 

The petition has come at a time when the Bombay High Court is expected to hear on July 1 the petition of Khan, who is currently on bail, challenging the Mumbai Sessions Court order that convicted him of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced him to undergo a jail term of five years. 

According to the case, on September 28, 2002, Khan in an inebriated condition, rammed his Toyata Land Cruiser SUV onto the pavements in Bandra locality, killing one person and injuring four others.

Last month, Additional Sessions Judge D W Deshpande held the 49-year-old actor guilty of all counts and rejected his defence. 

Patil’s testimony was crucial – and this has been upheld by the Sessions Court, though Salman’s defence had challenged it. “But in my opinion, the evidence of Ravindra Patil is complete evidence. The facts deposed by him would not be changed, even the charge under section 304 Part II of the IPC is framed,” the judge had ruled in the order.

(Published 25 June 2015, 21:02 IST)

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