Shot in the Arm for Salman Khan

Mumbai :  In what could be a setback for the prosecution in actor Salman Khan hit and run case, the motor vehicle inspector in his cross-examination told the court that one of the factors of the accident could be the condition of the tyre.

Salman’s lawyer Advocate Shirkant Shivade was cross-examining expert witness R S Ketkar on Monday before sessions judge D W Deshpande.

Shivade was trying to establish that the case could have been a sheer accident and it could have been caused because of the condition of the tyre.

During the cross-examination, Ketkar said that he inspected the left front tyre of the car for about one to two minutes by his hand and said that one of the factors of the accident could be the condition of the tyre. He also said that he did notice that the tyre was deflated but did not mention it in the accident report and did not record it in front of the magistrate.

Motor vehicle inspector tells court that one factor for hit-n-run could be condition of tyre

On being questioned about the intricate details about the car, Ketkar admitted that he did not remember anything due to lapse of memory and passage of time. He did not see the spot and car panchnama and does not recollect if any other inspector was there.

Ketkar also agreed that he is no expert on tyres and rubber and cannot talk about the different categories of tyres. He filed all the details of his investigation in an accident report in the form of a proforma which was given to him by the police and is not in accordance with the format laid down in the Motor Vehicles Act and Rules. He prepared the investigation report 24 hours after doing the investigation.

Ketkar confessed that it is difficult to gauge the damages of the car by just looking at the accident report and despite that he did not maintain any other report apart from the accident report.

The witness recorded in front of Judge that, “Whatever I don’t remember has been wiped off from my memory.”

The next hearing is scheduled for December 24 where the cross examination of the inspector will continue and two more witnesses will be presented by the prosecution.

On September 28, 2002 Salman’s Toyota Land Cruiser had rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra killing one and injuring four others who were sleeping on a pavement. The actor had earlier been tried by a magistrate for a lesser offence of causing death by negligence, which entails maximum imprisonment of two years. However, later a fresh trial was ordered under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which attracts maximum 10-year sentence.

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