Mumbai: Bollywood actor Salman Khan was on Tuesday asked by a sessions court to appear before it on March 27 for recording his statement on prosecution evidence in the 2002 hit-and-run case, in which he is charged with killing one and injuring four others by ramming his car into a shop.
Khan's statement would be recorded under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that allows the accused to tell the court his/her side of the story at the fag end of the trial.
The judge would also get an opportunity to question the accused on certain aspects of the trial, while the latter will get a chance to present his defence on evidence put up by prosecution before the court, said prosecutor Pradeep Gharat.
Judge D W Deshpande passed the orders to this effect after consulting the prosecutor and defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade.
About 25 witnesses have already given evidence in this case. Investigation officer Kishan Shengal is currently deposing before the court.
The court is yet to pass an order on an application moved by defence lawyer seeking to recall another investigating officer Rajendra Kadam. However, the prosecution has opposed the plea.
Khan did not come to the court today. His sister Alvira was present.
Salman was arrested after his car had rammed into a bakery shop in suburban Bandra in the wee hours of September 28, 2002. The five injured were taken to a nearby municipal hospital, where one of them was declared dead.
A fresh trial is being conducted after the charge of culpable homicide, which provides for imprisonment of up to ten years, was invoked.
Earlier, the trial was being conducted by a magistrate, who had charged the actor with rash and negligent driving, which attracts only two years' jail term.
During the cross-examination today, investigation
officer Shenghal told defence lawyer that he did not know whether finger prints were obtained from the steering and driver's seat of the vehicle, though he admitted that it was important to determine who was driving the car involved in the mishap.
To another question, Shengal said he had obtained Khan's finger prints, but was not aware whether forensic experts had taken finger prints from the area of driver's seat in the vehicle.
The officer said he could not remember whether he had made attempts to verify the finger prints of persons travelling in the car. Asked if there was any record of finger prints obtained in this case, he replied in the negative.
The prosecution has alleged that Salman was driving the car and was under the influence of liquor. However, the accused has denied the allegations.
To a question, Shengal said it was not correct to say that the evidence had been concocted to implicate Khan in the case. He also denied a suggestion by defence lawyer that the report of Motor vehicles inspector was fabricated.
Shenghal said he had tried to investigate what the eye-witness Ravindra Patil had stated about the mishap.
According to prosecution, Patil, who was police bodyguard of Salman Khan and had passed away during the trial, was sitting besides the actor in the car. He had said in his police statement that he had advised Khan not to drive rashly or else he would meet with an accident. Patil had said that the actor had taken drinks before driving the vehicle.
Shenghal's cross-examination would continue tomorrow.