Mumbai, 19 May-2014, PTI: A bar waiter today identified actor Salman Khan in a court saying he had come along with his friends in a group to have drinks in a five-star hotel on the same night, hours before Khan ran over his car over people sleeping on footpath in suburban Bandra, 12 years ago.
Bar waiter identifies Salman Khan, says he came along with friends to have drinks the accident night
The waiter, Molay Baug, told Judge D W Deshpande he had served cocktails and Bacardi (White Rum) to the group who had come along with Salman to ‘Zen Bar’ in J W Marriot hotel, but could not remember whether the actor had consumed drinks.
Public prosecutor Jagannath Kenjralkar examined the witness to show the court that the actor had consumed drinks before meeting with an accident on the ill-fated day.
“The lights were dim and it was dark and hence I could not see who had consumed liquor…all that I remember is that I had served drinks to this group which had come with Salman, the waiter told defence lawyer Srikant Shivade during cross-examination.
To another question, the witness said it would be difficult for him to say whether everyone in the group had consumed alcoholic drinks.
Another witness, Laxman More, a police constable, said he was in the team which was on duty to give protection to Salman’s brother Sohail Khan. On the day of the mishap, he was posted at Salman’s residential building along with others.
Sohail and Salman had gone to ‘Rain Bar’ that night.
While Sohail returned after midnight, Salman had still not come. At 3 AM, a man came running to us and informed that Salman had met with an accident nearby.
“I rushed to the spot with this man in his car but did not find Salman at the accident spot. We waited there for two to three minutes,” the witness said.
However, during this period, the crane had not arrived to lift the car from the steps of the shop which had been hit in the impact. Also, I do not know the person who told us about the accident, the witness said in cross-examination.
One person was killed and four others were injured when Salman had rammed his car into a bakery shop on September 28, 2002.
Salman, attired in a grey shirt and blue denims, was in the dock. His sisters Alvira and Arpita were also present.
Altogether six witnesses have so far deposed in the re-trial, which would continue tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Bandra police has not yet completed the inquiry into alleged threat received by a witness in the case, police said today.
Police had informed the court earlier that the witness Muslim Shaikh had allegedly received “threat” calls asking him to accept Rs five lakh for staying away from the case.
The court had then ordered an inquiry, asking police to submit a report today. However, it was not filed as the probe was not yet over.
Salman keenly watched the deposition of the witnesses from the dock, at times getting up from his seat when he could not see and properly hear the witnesses.
Today, the actor had come clean shaven, much different from the look he wore on the last occasion when he had sported a French beard. However, Salman looked relaxed.
On December 5 last year, the court had ordered a fresh trial on the ground that the witnesses had not been examined in the context of aggravated charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which was invoked against the actor midway through the case.
The charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder attracts a 10-year sentence. The actor had earlier been tried by a magistrate for a lesser offence of causing death by negligence, which entailed an imprisonment of two years.
The case, dragging on for over a decade, had taken a twist earlier this year when the magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses, held that the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was made out against Salman and referred the matter to a sessions court, as cases under this offence are tried by a higher court.