Salman's bodyguard not reliable, says court

'Patil changed his statement from FIR'

Salman's bodyguard not reliable, says court

Actor Salman Khan’s bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who is the first informant and who lodged the FIR, could not be considered as a reliable witness, the Bombay High Court said on Wednesday.

Referring to the Supreme Court endorsements in several cases, Justice A R Joshi said that witnesses are classified in three categories — wholly reliable, partially reliable and wholly unreliable — and this, he pointed out, was the “cardinal principle” of criminal jurisprudence.

“Because of anomalies and discrepancies in his statement, Patil cannot be called wholly reliable as he has improved upon this statement from recording of FIR to his supplementary statement to testimony in Magistrate’s Court. As far as partially reliable is concerned, it would require corroboration,” he said.

According to Justice Joshi, one of the major gaps in the FIR that was lodged by Patil was changing the word “Manual Gonsalves Road” to “Andrews Road”; on the other hand, Ashok Singh, the driver, has described the route as “Linking Road, Manuel Gonsalves Road, Hill Road towards St Andrews Road”.

“The prosecution has not been able to explain the reasons for removal of word Manuel Gonsalves Road,” he said. Justice Joshi also said that he has said that the car was driven at a speed of 90 to 100 kmph and it would take a time of seven to eight minutes to cover the distance from JW Marriott to the accident spot — a distance of 7 km. “He has said that they started at 2:15 am and the accident took place at 2:45 am. He has also said that they drove non-stop, but he has not been able to explain this gap in time,” Justice Joshi said, adding that the RTO inspector’s evidence has to be seen in this context.

He pointed out that police inspector Kishan Shengal, the investigating officer, has not sent the tyre for forensic examinatio  when forensic experts had visited the police station to inspect the car.

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