MUMBAI: A witness in the hit-and-run case allegedly involving Salman Khan told the trial court today that he had seen the actor in the driver's seat in a stationary car in the parking slot of a hotel in suburban Juhu on the same night when his vehicle met with an accident.
However, the witness, Kalpesh Verma, the then parking attendant at the hotel, said he had not seen who was sitting in driver's seat when the car left the hotel. He had also not seen who was driving the vehicle when the vehicle moved out.
The prosecution's case is that Salman had come to the hotel along with his friends and had drinks before leaving the place and meeting with an accident in Bandra on September 28, 2002 in which one person was killed and four others injured.
The witness told public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat that Salman was handed over a parking ticket after his car entered the hotel's parking slot and the actor gave him a Rs 500 note as tip which he deposited in the tip box.
During cross-examination by Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade, the witness, said that the parking tickets contain the name of the person driving the car and the vehicle number. However, Salman's name did not figure in any parking ticket.
The witness said he had given the parking ticket to police but he was unable to say why it had not been produced before the court.
The witness also said he had seen singer Kamaal Khan sitting behind Salman.
Asked in cross-examination whether Kamaal Khan was sitting on the left side or right side behind Salman, the witness replied that he was on the left side.
This question was asked by Salman's lawyer to show that the actor was sitting on the left side while the driver's seat is on the right.
Another witness, Amin Shaikh, who was sleeping outside a bakery where the actor's car allegedly met with an accident, said he had heard people shouting "Salman bahar Aa jao" but he did not see the actor in the car. He saw people assaulting
Salman's bodyguard who was standing near a door of the car.
Salman had come to the court and was sitting in the dock during the trial which has been adjourned to November 5. The sessions court had on December 5 last year ordered a fresh trial in the case on the ground that witnesses had not been examined in the context of aggravated charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which was invoked against the actor by a magisterial court midway through the hearing.
The actor had earlier been tried by a magistrate for a lesser offence of causing death by negligence, which entailed an imprisonment of two years, while the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder attracts a 10-year sentence.
The magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses, had ruled that a case of culpable homicide was made out against the actor and referred it to the sessions court. Trial of cases of culpable homicide can be conducted by courts higher than magisterial courts.
On September 28, 2002, the actor's car had allegedly rammed into a bakery, killing one person and injuring four others sleeping on the pavement outside.