Mumbai: A sessions court here on Monday adjourned hearing in the hit-and-run case allegedly involving the Bollywood actor Salman Khan till January 22.
The case did not commence today as Khan's lawyer could not come to court due to ill-health. Also, a key witness made an oral request for police protection.
When the court resumed this morning, a lawyer from the defence team informed that Khan's counsel Srikant Shivade was unwell and sought time. Accordingly, the court adjourned the trial till January 22.
Meanwhile, Dr Suhas Pawar, who had subjected Khan to blood test after the accident to find out if he was drunk, made an oral plea through special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat for police protection. However, he did not assign any reason for seeking security. Judge DW Deshpande asked him to give a written application for consideration of his request.
Khan did not come to the court today as he had already sought exemption.
On January 22, Dr Pawar would be examined along with police constable Dilip Mane who had taken Khan to JJ Hospital from Bandra Police Station after the mishap took place.
According to prosecution, Khan's blood report indicated that he had two times the permissible limit of alcohol in his blood the night he is alleged to have run over five people who were asleep on a pavement near his home in Bandra.
Earlier, a witness from Mumbai Central Forensic Science Laboratory had informed that as per the Motor Vehicle Act, permissible limit for presence of alcohol in human blood sample is 30mg per 100ml of blood, while Salman's sample showed presence of 62mg of alcohol.
Khan's lawyer had earlier pointed out an anomaly in the number of blood samples collected - the documents did not clarify if one vial of blood was collected or two. Dr Pawar is being examined to find out how many blood samples of Khan were taken and what were the contents of alcohol in them.
On January 08, the sessions court had rejected prosecution's plea to re-examine an RTO officer who had carried out inspection of the actor's car after the incident in 2002.
Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat had sought re-examination of RS Ketkar, who worked with Regional Transport Office in 2002, on the ground that he had given "vague and evasive" answers to Khan's lawyer Srikant Shivade during the cross-examination and certain clarifications were needed to be brought on court's record.
Judge DW Deshpande had, however, rejected the application after the defence objected to it.
Shivade argued the prosecution wanted to bring new facts on record on the pretext of re-examination and it may cause prejudice to the accused (Khan).
If the witness had been "vague and evasive" during the cross-examination, it should only bother the defence and the prosecution need not re-examine him, he said.
Gharat denied that he wanted to bring on record any new facts. The judge, however, said the prosecution can incorporate clarifications in the final arguments.
Nearly 20 witnesses have already been examined in the case and a few more are left to depose.
The trial has also reached its fag end and the judge has asked the prosecution to wrap up the case as soon as possible.
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 Agency inputs)