Mumbai: Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s lawyer today argued in the Bombay High Court that the police might have tampered with the actor’s Toyota Land Cruiser Lexus which was involved in the 2002 hit-and-run accident. The Bombay High Court is currently hearing Salman’s appeal against the conviction and five-year sentence for crashing his car into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four others.
While four to six prosecution witnesses testified at the trial that the front left tyre of the car had burst but the RTO officer who inspected the car said the tyre was in good condition but had only deflated, Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai today said, arguing before Justice A R Joshi. “We strongly believe that the tyre, a vital piece of evidence, has been tampered with,” said advocate Desai.
He further said that Ashok Singh, the actor’s family driver who was driving the car (the trial court rejected this claim and held that Salman was driving the car) went to the Bandra police station and gave his version of the accident. Singh said that the tyre had burst but the police did not believe him and did not make him prosecution witness, he said.
“PW-1 (panch witness Sambha Kanappa Gowda) has spoken about seeing the front left wheel punctured…the first informant and star witness late Ravindra Patil speaks about left front tyre punctured….PW-27 (inspector Kisan Narayan Sengal, the investigating officer) says in his cross-examination that he did not send the tyre for examination, which means he has also seen it in burst condition,” advocate Desai said.
However, Rajendra Keskar, the RTO inspector who inspected the car, said the tyre was in a good condition. “Either he has not come to the site or he saw something else,” said Desai, alleging that the car might have been tampered with post-accident.