Updated: May 5, 2015 5:14:31 pm
In 3 days, a Mumbai court will give its verdict in the actor’s hit-and-run case, that left 1 dead. Meghna Yelluru on who said what over 12 years of trial.
No. 1 to No. 27: Prosecution Witnesses
1. Ravindra Himmatrao Patil: A constable then, he was deputed as Salman’s police escort on August 28, 2002. His duty hours were 8 pm to 8 am. Patil died of TB in 2007.
HIS STATEMENT (in Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bandra, in January 2006):
On September 27, 2002, about 9.30 pm, Salman came out of his house with brother Kamaal Khan (the actor’s cousin) and told him they were going to a party at Rain Bar, Juhu, Patil said. He added that Salman drove the car (a Toyota Land Cruiser) himself to the bar, and later to J W Marriott Hotel. They left Marriott at about 2.15 am, Patil said.
“The accused was drunk and was driving his car. We came to St Andrews Road and he was driving his car at 90-100 km/hr. I told the accused to lower the speed of the motor car as a right turn was coming… The accused could not control his car while taking the right turn and it went on the footpath. The people were sleeping on the footpath.” Salman and Kamaal ran away from the spot, Patil added.
(The following statements were made in the Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court, unless specified otherwise; all occupations stated were at the time of the accident)
2. Muslim Niyamat Shaikh: Injured in the left leg in the accident, he worked at the American Express bakery.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Shaikh said he ate at the bakery and slept next to the ‘American Laundry’ nearby. “I heard a sound. I found myself beneath the car… Bakery people helped us. People were saying Salman Khan had got down from the car.” He also deposed that he saw Salman getting off the right side of the car.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Shaikh admitted his statement was recorded two and a half months after the accident.
Earlier, before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bandra: Shaikh said he did not see who was getting down from the driver’s side or the left side.
3. Munnu Khan: Injured in the right leg, he was a labourer at American Express bakery.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Khan said he was sleeping on the “platform” outside ‘American Laundry’ when he found himself beneath a car. “Somehow people pushed the car and rescued me and the others.”
There were three persons in the car, Khan added. According to him, Salman got down from the driver’s side, a bodyguard got off too, while a third person came out from the back. “Salman was so drunk he fell. He stood but he fell again and then he… ran away.”
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: After seeing pictures of the spot, Khan maintained that the “platform” in them was not like the one he slept on. The witness also could not say why his claim regarding Salman being drunk was not recorded in his police statement.
Khan also testified that the bumper of the car was still attached to it after the accident. (This is crucial to the defence argument that the sole death was caused by the Land Cruiser slipping out of the grip of the crane brought to lift it, as its bumper came off.)
4. Kalim Iqbal Pathan: Injured, worked at American Express bakery.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Pathan said he heard a big noise and found himself beneath a car. The bakery people pulled him out, he said. “The vehicle was white in colour and Salman Khan got down from the right side… Many people were asking Salman to get down… Salman then ran away.”
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Pathan testified he could not say what he said in statement to the police. “I thought whatever written by police was true.” Pathan added that because it was dark, he did not know whether the vehicle had gone up the stairs of the bakery or not, and could not identify the people who rushed to rescue him.
5. Malay Bag: He worked at the Rain Bar, served Salman and friends their orders on September 27, 2002.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: At about midnight, Salman and his friends visited the bar, Bag said, and he had kept Bacardi white rum and cocktails on the table. They also ordered prawns and chicken, he testified.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Stood by his statement.
6. Balu Laxman Muthe: Deployed in security detail of Salman Khan’s brother Sohail Khan; now Head Constable, Crime Branch.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Muthe said Salman, Kamaal and Sohail had come out of Rain Bar around 2 am on September 28, 2002, and he had gone home with Sohail.
“At about 3 am, one person came running and said Khan’s car (had) met with an accident. I informed Sohail and rushed to the spot. Salman was not there,” Muthe said.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Stood by his statement.
7. Francis Damian Fernandes: He worked in a private firm.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: A resident of Hill Road, Bandra West, Fernandes testified he had known Salman since the latter was a child, and that the actor called him ‘Commander’. After the accident, Fernandes said, he heard cries of “bachao, bachao”. When he approached the spot, he added, Salman pleaded, “Commander, save me”.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Fernandes said he did not smell any alcohol on Salman. “Salman was looking normal and able to walk normally.”
8. Ramasare Ramdev Pande: Ran a dairy business on Hill Road, Bandra West.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: He said he heard people crying “mar gaya, mar gaya” after the accident, and saw Salman get out from the right front side of the car. The actor then left in another car, Pande said.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Pande said he heard the people underneath the car crying for help, while the left front door of Salman’s car was jammed in the bakery’s shutter. (The defence has argued this is why Salman had to get down from the driver’s side.) Pande also said he didn’t see anybody sitting in the front once Salman got out, and that bodyguard Ravindra Patil was already standing outside. He also testified that the left front tyre of the car had burst.
Later, when a rescue crane tried to lift the car, Pande said, its bumper came off and the car fell. (The defence has said this is what killed the sole deceased, Nurulah Sharif.)
Earlier, before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bandra: Pande said he saw injured people shouting for help and three people inside the car. He added that he saw Salman alight from the driver’s seat and that the left front tyre of the car had burst.
9. Rizwan Rakhangi: Rain Bar manager.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Salman, Sohail and friends were guests at the bar on the night of September 27, 2002, said Rakhangi. Drinks and snacks were served to them, he added. While there were many celebrities at the bar that night, he said, he remembered seeing Salman with a white-colour glass.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Rakhangi now said there were many standing near the Khan brothers, and he could not see what his customers were drinking. He further said Bacardi rum looks like water and Salman was drinking some clear liquid.
When Salman was leaving, Rakhangi added, he hadn’t smelled any alcohol and the actor walked normally. Later, he said, he saw four people, including Salman, in the car.
Earlier, before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bandra: Rakhangi said Salman and his friends ordered Fosters beer, Cosmopolitan cocktail and Bacardi wine. Their bill totalled Rs 10,000.
10: Sachin Gangaram Kadam: Guard at Neel Sagar Hotel in front of American Express Cleaners, Bandra West.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Said it was wrong to say he was a “witness” and denied telling police that the person he saw getting off the car’s front side was Salman, or that the actor had fled from the spot. Later, he told the prosecutor he had never told police the licence number of Salman’s car.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Said the same. Was declared a hostile witness.
11. Mohd Abdulla Shaikh: Injured, worked at American Express bakery.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Shaikh claimed to have seen Salman after he was “rescued” from the wreckage. He added that his injured co-workers, other bakery employees and a taxi driver said the accident had been caused by Salman.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Said co-worker Nurulah (the sole deceased) and he were sleeping together and came under the Land Cruiser. Shaikh added that he had seen Salman at the site of the accident.
12. Kalpesh Sarju Verma: Parking attendant at JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Testified that his colleague Yogesh had parked Salman’s Land Cruiser, and that he had later driven it to the porch as the actor left the hotel with two people. Verma said he had seen Salman getting into the driver’s seat, with Kamaal sitting behind him. The third man with them was Salman’s bodyguard, Verma said.
He also recalled that Salman handed out Rs 500 for Verma’s colleagues as they left.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Verma said Kamaal sat alone at the back, behind Salman.
13. Amin Kasam Shaikh: Worker at another bakery, American Express 1, on Hill Road.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Shaikh said he slept outside A-1 Bakery, and had rushed to the spot after the accident. He said he helped extricate Muslim Shaikh and Abdul Shaikh from underneath the car and took the two to hospital in an autorickshaw.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Among those who said the left front door of Salman’s car got entangled in the bakery’s shutter.
14. Salim Majid Patel: Customs clearing agent; still is one.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: In February 2001, Patel said, he had been introduced to actor Chunky Pandey’s brother Chikki Pandey when the latter wanted Customs clearance for a Toyota Land Cruiser. Patel helped Pandey complete the formalities and noted that in the registration records, the owner of the vehicle was an ‘Abdul Rahman’.
15. Alok @ Chikki Sharad Pandey: In construction business.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Pandey said he had helped Salman get the Land Cruiser and that it was paid for by cheque by his father Salim Khan.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: The Pali Hill resident noted that there are five-seven speedbreakers on St Andrews Road near Holy Family Hospital in Bandra West. (The defence argued Salman could therefore not have been speeding here.) Pandey also testified that after the accident, he had gone to Salman’s home and seen the actor was in shock. He hugged Salman, Pandey added, and he was not smelling of alcohol.
16. Gurucharan Abnashiram Malhotra: Car insurance agent.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Malhotra said the Land Cruiser was insured between April 23, 2002, and April 22, 2003.
17. Mark Marshal D’Souza: Worked at American Express Cleaners
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: D’Souza said he had been working at the laundry since 1988, and Salman often passed by the spot.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: D’Souza said he could not recall what he had told police since 12 years had passed.
18. Dattaray Khobrajirao Bhalshankar: Analyser at Forensic Science Lab, Pune. Examined Salman’s blood samples for alcohol.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Said as assistant chemical analyser he had tested around a thousand cases of alcohol consumption at the Pune FSL till 2002. On September 30, 2002, Bhalshankar said, he received a bottle along with a letter from Bandra police and analysed it on October 1. “I found 62 milligrams of ethyl alcohol in the blood,” he said, indicating Salman had been drinking.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Bhalshankar said he did not know how many samples he had analysed in his career. “The name of Salman Khan was written on the blood sample bottle. I cannot say… in which language.”
He further deposed that it was not important that 6 ml blood was sent to him and he found 2 ml less. He admitted giving chemical formulae of the preservatives wrong.
19. Rajendra Keskar: RTO inspector; examined car after the accident.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Keskar said Salman’s vehicle showed damage, especially to the side fender, while the front bumper was missing. “I also noticed left headlight as well as sidelight were broken.”
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Questioned extensively on his expertise, Keskar finally said he had undergone training “for a period of one day”. “The vehicle was a Tata Indica on which training was given by the police academy… The accident vehicle was the first and last Land Cruiser examined by me.”
20. Dr Shashikant Pawar: Medical officer at JJ Hospital; extracted Salman’s blood for alcohol test. Salman was taken for medical examination 12 hours after the accident.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Dr Pawar testified he was on duty on September 28, 2002, and said, “I took the history from Salman Khan about the alcohol consumption but he denied (it). I noticed breath was smelling alcohol. Pupils were slightly dilated. His gait was normal. His speech was coherent.”
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Said he hadn’t heard of the Maharashtra Civil Medical Code prior to the day he was examined (January 1, 2015). Also said dilation of pupils was not a conclusive test for consumption of alcohol. “It cannot be said that Salman was smelling of alcohol.”
21. Sharad Bapu Borade: Police naik, Bandra police station; now head constable.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Borade said he had taken two bottles and an envelope with a letter to the chemical analyser at FSL.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Borade testified that Investigating Officer Rajendra Kadam did not have a separate cabin and sat with the constables at the Bandra police station. He also said that at the time, the police station did not have a refrigerator or AC, and that in September 2002, the weather had been hot. Borade said he had been instructed by Kadam to take two sealed bottles containing Salman’s blood samples to the FSL and that the envelope containing the bottles was at room temperature. (The defence lawyer contended that the blood samples, which were kept at the police station for two days before being sent for alcohol test, could have been contaminated and fermented. Fermentation, the lawyer argued, could have produced the alcohol in the blood sample).
22. Vijay Mainikrao Salunkhe: Sub-inspector, Bandra police station; now assistant police inspector, MIDC police station
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Salunkhe said he took Salman to JJ Hospital on September 28, 2002, for a blood alcohol test.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Salunkhe said his statements were not recorded by the investigating officer. He added that Salman’s blood sample was not handed over to him but to a constable. Salunkhe could not recollect the name of that constable.
23. Raghuveer Singh Bilawar: Inspector of motor vehicles, RTO, Andheri.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: Bilawar said a permanent licence had been issued to Salman on August 17, 2004, valid till December 26, 2015 (indicating he did not have a licence at the time of the accident).
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Admitted that except the entry for Salman, all other entries in his register were dated January 5 or January 6, 2004. “It is not correct that the entry in the name of Salman is fabricated.”
24. Sangita Annasaheb Mahadik: Police naik, Bandra police station; still works there.
During CHIEF EXAMINATION: She was tasked with locating the medical officer at Cooper Hospital who had, in 2002, conducted the autopsy on Nurulah. Mahadalik found that the medical officer had retired.
25. Kailash Behere: Service; Ravindra Patil’s elder brother, he is complainant in the case.
During Chief EXAMINATION: Behere was summoned to testify that Patil was dead. He said Patil worked as “bodyguard” of Salman in 2002, and was transferred later.
During CROSS-EXAMINATION: Behere said he did not live with Patil in 2002.
26, 27: Investigating officers – Inspector Rajendra Kadam and Senior Police Inspector Kishan Shengal.
No. 28: The lone defence witness
Ashok Singh: The Andheri resident has been Khan family’s driver since 1990.
HIS STATEMENT (in Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court): Appearing before the court for the first time on April 20, Singh said it was he and not the actor who was driving the SUV at the time of the accident. He also told the court a tyre burst had caused it.
Asked why he had not revealed this till now, Singh said it did not strike him to come to court. “Salim Khan (Salman’s father) told me to go to court and tell the truth,” Singh said.
“I was driving and we were some distance on Hill Road when the front left tyre burst. Our vehicle veered towards the left. I tried turning the steering but it had become hard. I tried applying brakes but the vehicle had by then climbed the stairs of the laundry and stopped.”
He also claimed he went to the police station but nobody listened to him there. “Salman then asked me to call the police. I dialled 100… then went to the Bandra police station… I narrated them the incident. I was (there) till 4 pm (on September 28, 2002). Salman came around 10.30 am.”
The actor, who was asked 419 questions prior to Singh’s statement, said the case against him was “false”; he had not been drinking that night.
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