Mumbai: In a relief to Salman Khan, a trial court here has rejected the prosecution's plea asking the Bollywood actor to produce his driving licence in the court in connection with the 2002 hit-and-run case.
The prosecution had appealed to the sessions court seeking that he submit his licence. But the plea was rejected on Tuesday.
"The application is not maintainable under the provisions of Indian Evidence Act as the court cannot force the accused to produce the driving licence," pronounced Judge DW Deshpande orally in the operative part of the order.
The accused can produce the licence at an appropriate stage if he so desires, said the judge, adding that, at this stage, the evidence is nearly over and hence the court cannot give a direction for producing the document.
The court had heard the arguments of both the sides on February 27 and reserved its order until today.
Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat argued that Khan did not possess a licence when his car ran over people sleeping on a pavement in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four.
He (Khan) obtained a driving licence only in 2004, as per the record available with Regional Transport Office, said the prosecution.
The actor has denied that he was driving the car at the time of the incident. He has also disputed the RTO record. His lawyer, Srikant Shivade, opposed the prosecution's application today, saying it was not maintainable.
Khan's lawyer said the prosecution's application violated the fundamental right against exploitation enshrined in the Constitution as it had asked the accused to produce documents incriminating him. He argued that the prosecution should prove its case that Khan was not holding a driving licence without asking him to produce it.
Last month, an RTO official, a witness in the case, had said that the actor did not have his driving license on the ill-fated night the incident took place.
The statement was given by the RTO officer, who was asked to confirm by a sessions court on whether or not the 49-year-old actor had a valid license during the time when the incident took place.
One person died and four were injured when a car, allegedly driven by Khan, ran over them in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002.
(With PTI Inputs)