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Salman hit-and-run case: Arguments over, verdict date tomorrow

Salman Khan at Sessions Court

Mumbai: A court trying Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case will pronounce the date of verdict tomorrow after prosecution and defence concluded their arguments today.

While Khan’s lawyer argued that the evidence of eyewitness Ravindra Patil should not be accepted because he passed away and was not available for cross-examination, the prosecution said ample opportunity had been given to defence earlier for cross examining this witness.

Patil was police bodyguard of Khan at the time of the accident and he had filed a complaint alleging the actor was in an inebriated condition when he rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002 killing one person and injuring four others.

In a related development, sessions judge D W Deshpande, on a plea of Khan, issued contempt notices to inspector of Bandra police station for recreating the crime scene and to two city newspapers for publishing photographs of a police team recreating the same.

The newspapers had published on Sunday news and photos showing a police team from Bandra police station driving in a vehicle from J W Marriott Hotel in Juhu to the accident spot to prove that it takes 30 minutes to cover this distance of around 8 km.

Salman had denied police’s claims that he had started from the hotel at 2.15 AM and reached the spot of accident in Bandra at 2.45 AM while driving at the speed of 90-100 kmph.

Khan’s lawyer Srikant Shivade moved an application seeking contempt action against police officer Rajendra Kane for recreating the scene of offence.

He argued that police should not re-investigate the offence at this stage when the trial is about to get over as it would cause prejudice to the accused.

Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat also filed an application seeking action against Kane for doing an act without his consultation. He said he had warned the officer not to do anything which might embarrass the prosecution.

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