Salman Khan didn’t help victims, didn’t wait for cops, hid himself until arrest: Trial court judge DW Deshpande

Actor Salman Khan had the knowledge that driving in a rash and negligent manner under the influence of liquor might result in death of people.

By: Press Trust of India Written by Meghna Yelluru | Mumbai | Updated: May 8, 2015 11:47 am
Salman Khan bail, Salman Khan jail, Salman Khan, Salman Khan Verdict, Salman khan case, hit and run case, Salman Khan Convicted, Salman Khan Culpable Homicide, Salman Khan Jail, Salman Khan Bail, Salman Khan Five Years Imprisonment, Salman Khan Bombay High Court, Salman Khan news, India news Bollywood actor Salman Khan and his father Salim Khan seeing off Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray who met the actor in Mumbai on Thursday. (Source: PTI photo)

He did not wait for police but hid himself until arrest; he did not visit the victims in hospital; he was a regular on that route and knew there were people sleeping on the pavement; and, he realised he didn’t have a driving licence and that driving after drinking alcohol was wrong.

These are the main points that Mumbai sessions judge D W Deshpande has highlighted in his judgement — the complete copy was released on Thursday — to convict Bollywood star Salman Khan on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced him Wednesday to five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25,000 in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

LIVE: Bombay High Court to hear Salman Khan’s bail application today

The actor later obtained interim bail for two days from Bombay High Court, which will hear his appeal against the conviction and his plea for bail Friday.

“The accused is a renowned film actor and he could have done anything to provide help to the victims. If a ghastly accident takes place wherein one was crushed and four were injured, (and) despite that the person involved in the accident hid himself until arrested, (it) shows the conduct of the accused,” the judgement reads.

Had he done no wrong, Khan could simply have convinced the hostile crowd that gathered after the accident outside a bakery in September 2002 that action would be taken against the person who drove his Toyota Landcruiser over five men sleeping on a pavement in Bandra, the judge observed.

Instead, the judge noted, Khan did not wait for police to arrive at the spot. Also, the judgement said, the accused went home and did not reach the police station until 10.30 am the next day.

“This shows one of the circumstances against the accused, about his involvement in the offence. If really the accused did not commit any wrong he could have visited the police station and immediately lodged the information about the incident,” the judge said.
According to judge Deshpande, Salman did not take steps to visit the victims in hospital or provide medical aid to them or visit the spot again with the police.

Also, the judge said, a witness’ statement that he had often seen the actor frequenting the route on which the bakery is located was “undisputed”.

“In short, the accused was having knowledge that the poor labourers were sleeping in front… The accused was also having knowledge that he did not possess driving license to drive the car at the time of the accident. The accused was also possessing knowledge that he should not drive the car under alcohol consumption,” the judgment says.

The judge has also pointed out that there was alcohol in Khan’s blood sample. A person driving under the influence of alcohol would know that there is the chance of meeting with an accident causing death or injuries to others, “particularly those sleeping on the footpath”, the judgment says, holding that this would fall within the definition of the term “knowledge” appearing in Section 304-II of the IPC.

Salman’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade had argued that the fatal injuries were caused during rescue operations and not due to the accident. The  court, however, did not accept the evidence of an injured witness based on which the lawyer made such a claim.

Countering the defence argument that the car was not speeding and that the tyre had burst, the court said if that was the case, the vehicle “could not have gone up the two-three steps of the bakery”.

“It means that  the vehicle was in speed and while a taking right turn on the hill road from St Andrews road, the accused lost his control and went straight on the people sleeping in front… amounting to rash and negligent driving,” the judgement read.

The judge also held that the driver Ashok Singh was a witness who had come to help Khan after 13 years, on the instruction of the actor’s father Salim. The 49-year-old actor’s defence lawyer had claimed earlier this year that it was Singh who was behind the wheel that night.
“(That) even after the accused was bailed out, the witness… failed to declare that the accused was innocent and he was the culprit and kept total silence thereafter for more than 12 years is not acceptable to any prudent man with logic, and the witness had proved that he is lying in oath,” the judge observed.

The court also held that prosecution witness Ravindra Patil, Khan’s former bodyguard and a police constable who died in 2007, was a “natural and impartial witness’’ whose deposition that the actor was drunk and driving, the judge accepted.

As for the defence argument that Khan was drinking water at the Rain Bar in Mumbai before the accident, Judge Deshpande questioned why the actor and his friends stood at the counter where drinks are supplied if they did not wish to consume alcohol.

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  1. A
    Abhi
    May 7, 2015 at 10:11 pm
    N whatever he did is called marketing deception theory
    Reply
    1. D
      david
      May 9, 2015 at 2:20 am
      salman was not guilty.. if car hit 90 per hour any place who are inside must be injured if they are drunk or not but miracle inside no one injured. this is totally politics to attack salman khan's pority nothing else..
      Reply
      1. A
        ayesha ramjoo
        May 8, 2015 at 10:49 am
        has the court never heard of road rage and mob fury, whether we are in involved or not any body getting out of the accident car are thrashed black and blue and if there are no occupants then the car is severely damaged by mob, so nobody in their right senses can wait at accident spot immediately after the incidence
        Reply
        1. K
          Kaliyug
          May 7, 2015 at 10:20 pm
          20 years ago Salman was brash, proud, intolerant and abrasive but the trial did not take place then. Today Salman is mature, helpful, personable, forgiving and a good person. I think the Judiciary should put him on some kind of Parole system, he should be made to pay and build safe hostels for the poor, so that they may not sleep on the sidewalks. Those migrating from UP and Bihar should be asked to adhere to strict family planning methods, so that they do not produce more sidewalk dirtying kids.
          Reply
          1. F
            Fahad Fadi
            May 8, 2015 at 8:51 am
            Fahad write a comment...how people realised that if they never saw. can case is escape?
            Reply
            1. F
              Fahad Fadi
              May 8, 2015 at 8:49 am
              What is your opinion? it's bad news
              Reply
              1. J
                joshy
                May 7, 2015 at 8:29 pm
                Saadi sae maaro salu ko
                Reply
                1. M
                  Mohan
                  May 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm
                  I agree with you except where you took on the migrants from Bihar and UP. Do not be so quick to judge the poor and the ignorant. That their lot has not improved even after 67 years of independence speaks volumes about the callous/incompetent leaders we have had - who had a field day till the TV channels and Mobile phones with Face book Twitter and Whtsapp etc came a long. Now that a good section of the potion gets to know about our "leaders" doings and not doings, perhaps the pace of development shall speed up
                  Reply
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