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Victims were not injured in mishap but later: Salman’s lawyer

Salman Khan at court

Mumbai: In a new twist to their arguments, lawyer of Bollywood actor Salman Khan today told the trial court that victims of 2002-hit-and-run case sustained serious injuries not in the mishap itself, but when the wrecked car fell on them while being lifted by a crane.

The prosecution’s case is that Khan rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one and injuring four others.

“There are circumstances to suggest that the car dropped on the persons who were underneath when it was being lifted with the help of a crane brought by police after the mishap,” said defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade in his final arguments before sessions judge D W Deshpande.

He read out statements of witnesses to argue that there were no blood-stains on bedsheets and pillow covers (the victims were sleeping on the sheets spread on steps of the bakery). Nor was there any blood on the steps.

The victims stated that they were dragged down by the impact. Had they been run over by the car, they would have been in the same position (stuck under wheels) but they stated that their position shifted, he said.

“This explains why no blood stains or tyre marks were found on the steps. Admittedly, the car had fallen on them when it was being lifted with the help of crane. The bumper too was intact but it had come off and was removed after the car was lifted,” Shivade submitted.

The lawyer quoted Mohammed Abdulla and Narulla, who were caught under the car. “Because of the dragging of the car we found our position shifted a short distance away after the mishap. Till the car was lifted, the two of us were crying for help,” he quoted from their statements.

If accident was the cause of injuries, would they be in the position to cry for help, the defence lawyer asked.

While the prosecution’s case is that the injured were removed and then the car was lifted, Khan’s lawyer argued that the car was lifted first.

The arguments would continue tomorrow.

“If they (police) say that the vehicle was speeding at 90 kms per hour, how the bumper was found intact (after the mishap)….If tyre soaks in blood and travels some distance there are bound to be tyre marks on the steps but this was absent,” said the lawyer.

“I am trying to explain why the crane driver’s statement was not recorded,” advocate Shivade added.

The post-mortem of the deceased revealed that his lungs were crushed completely, and this can happen when a heavy object falls on the victim, he argued.

The bedsheets should have been completely soaked in blood if the victims were crushed under the car, but no blood stains were found on them, he said.

Shivade also cited one of the injured persons who had said before the magistrate that he had not seen anyone getting down from the car as he was trapped under it. However, in the trial before the sessions court, he said that Salman got down from the car, contradicting himself, the defence lawyer contended.

Sessions court is conducting a fresh trial after the earlier magistrate’s court upgraded the charges.

Salman’s father and script-writer Salim Khan, mother Salma and sister Alvira were present during the proceedings.

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