Salman's defence decries paper-book

Salman's defence decries paper-book

As Salman Khan’s hearing of the appeal resumed in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, the Bollywood actor’s defence team said that the paper-book was not in order and certain documents vis-a-vis defence was not in place.

The defence is challenging  the actor’s five-year jail term conviction in a drunken-driving and hit-and-run case.

During the course of hearing before Justice A R Joshi, senior defence counsel Amit Desai and additional public prosecutor Purnima Kantharia had fierce arguments over the contents of paper-book and records and proceedings (R&P) and procedural requirements. A paper-book is largely the compilation of evidence and documents, while R&P comprises of the entire case papers to the most minute details.

Public prosecutor and government pleader Sandeep Shinde, however, told Justice Joshi that the paper-book had been prepared as per the manual of the Bombay High Court. “It is as per the manual,” he said.

Justice Joshi has posted the matter for Wednesday, when the court would rule on an application filed by Desai seeking changes in the paper-book.

“This is one sided and bound to cause prejudice...there has to be a sense of responsibility, what we want is strict compliance of manual,” Desai said, adding that some documents not required are included in the paper-book and some that are required have been conveniently ignored. Kantharia argued that when the paperbook was finalised by the registry, two junior advocates from the defence side were present, adding that even if  the defence team wanted to refer to something outside the paper-book, they can look at the R&P.

Going into specifics, Desai said: “D1 was not included...it is an important document for me...I want every document that is shown to a witness to be included in the paper book...we are not asking for the shutter, bumper, blood samples and soil (from the site)...we are asking for those which can be presented and are relevant...we must retain some, we must exclude some.” Kantharia, however, objected saying that the paper-book is not prepared by the prosecution but the registry and there is no question for the government to file a say on the application moved by Desai.

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