The Bombay High Court Tuesday questioned the manner in which the blood samples of Salman Khan were collected and analysed in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving the actor, observing that “requisite and necessary care was not taken while taking the blood sample”.
Salman was taken to JJ Hospital for taking his blood samples on the afternoon of September 28, 2002, hours after the accident which left one dead and four others injured when the actor’s Toyota Land Cruiser hit five men sleeping outside a bakery on Hill Road in Bandra.
“Other aspects which also led to reasonable doubt is the authenticity of blood sample,” the HC said, while questioning if the sample tested by forensic experts during chemical anlysis was the one that left JJ Hospital.
The court made these comments during the dictation of the final order on Salman’s appeal against his conviction and five-year jail term awarded by a sessions court in Mumbai in May this year. The HC will continue with the dictation of orders on Wednesday. The court also said there was discrepancy about the total quantity of blood. “While 6ml blood was extracted, 4ml of blood reached the chemical analyst. In view of the above, evidence of the chemical analyst is of no importance,” said Justice A R Joshi.
While the blood sample was taken on September 28, it was sent to the chemical analyst’s office on September 30, as the office was shut for the weekend. It was argued by the defence that a special message could have been sent to the office to take the sample. “It is unfortunate that office of chemical analyst remained close for accepting urgent sample in case of emergency,” said Justice Joshi.
“Till then, police said, the sample was kept in a fridge in the police station while there was no evidence to show that such a refrigerator was there in the police officer’s chamber,” the judge said. On the prosecution’s contention that Salman had been drinking in the Rain Bar hours before the accident, the HC said, “There is no direct evidence of either the waiter or manager.”
With regard to production of bills by prosecution to show that Salman and friends had consumed alcohol in the Rain Bar, the HC said the bar manager had confirmed they were not occupying any table while these bills had table numbers and, as pointed out by defence, these were dated September 27 even though Salman and his friends left the bar at 1 am and so the date on bills should have been September 28. “The trial court has not done analysis whether this evidence can be accepted and can be taken to show drunkenness of the appellant,” it said.
Dealing with the testimony of the parking assistant, the court said he was silent “on his (actor’s) condition when he came out of J W Marriott”.
The prosecution had said that the parking assistant had seen Salman sit on the driver’s seat after coming out of J W Marriott and driving off. The defence had pointed to the cross-examination and said the same witness had testified that the actor was sitting on the left side in the front.
The HC also looked into the aspect of tyre burst. The court said, “There are reasons to doubt whether inspection was done by him when the car was immobile and had to be towed away. Under the circumstance and evidence by other witnesses (of the tyre being punctured or burst), it is difficult to accept that the left side tyre was not punctured or burst,” said the court. firstname.lastname@example.org