New Delhi: In the 2002 hit-and-run case, accused actor Salman Khan's driver Ashok Singh has come forward to give his statement to the court which may provide relief to the actor.
He has testified in the court that he was driving the car on that ill-fated night and not Salman when the tyre burst and he lost control of the car.
Few days back, the 49 year-old actor had said in the court that a false statement was registered against him. He denied that he was drunk and he was not driving when the accident happened.
He also said that his driver went to the police station but the police did not register Ashok's statement.
Singh (42), who today appeared as a defence witness, corroborated Khan's version completely.
Describing how the accident took place, Singh said: "A tyre burst and the car was dragged to the left....I tried to turn the steering wheel but it was hard, then I tried to apply brakes but by then the car had climbed the stairs of bakery.
"I was in a state of shock and Salman was sitting on the left side. He tried to open the door but it got jammed. He got down from my side which was on the right," said Singh, replying to questions asked by Salman's lawyer Shrikant Shivade.
Altaf, another driver who worked for Khan, had called him on phone at 1.30 am that day, asking him to pick up the actor at the J W Marriot hotel because he (Salman) was not well.
Singh said he reached the hotel in auto-rickshaw, and saw the actor sitting on the driver's side with engine running and air-conditioning on. As Altaf had left, Singh got into the driver's seat; Salman sat on his left and his friend Kamal Khan and constable Ravindra Patil, the actor's police bodyguard, sat behind, he said.
In the wee hours of September 28, 2002, Salman's white Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into the American Express Bakery in suburban Bandra, close to his sea-front home in Galaxy Apartments, before fleeing from the accident site.
One pavement dweller sleeping outside the bakery was killed and four others were injured, leading to Salman's arrest by the Bandra Police later that morning.
(With PTI inputs)