The second witness in Salman Khan's hit-and-run case deposed favouring the prosecution yesterday at the Bandra metropolitan court.
|Ram Asare Pandey, a dairy owner at Hill Road, Bandra, 50 metres from the accident spot, saw Salman inside the Land Cruiser|
Ram Asare Pandey (44), who runs Pandey Dairy at Hill Road, Bandra — 50 metres from the accident spot — told the court that he saw Salman inside the Toyota Land Cruiser that crashed into sleeping A-1 Bakery workers the night of the accident.
"I saw Salman Khan get down from the driving seat. I could only identify him. Salman went away from the scene with another person from the car. Later on, I came to know that the one who was still standing beside the car was his bodyguard", he said.
But there were some snags, as Pandey's statement in court showed minor discrepancies from his statement recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Under this section a witness records his statement before a magistrate, who if the witness turns hostile can be called to depose before the court. However, even a minor deviation from that recorded statement can harm the case.
When the defence cross-examined Pandey, he said that he had gone to the Bandra police station three days after the incident to give his statement. But in his original statement in 2002, he had said that the police themselves had come to his home the day after the incident to record his statement.
To this, Pandey said, "I don't remember every detail. Thoda aage peeche ho sakta hai." But fortunately for the prosecution, Judge J B Panke pacified the defence, saying, "That's OK. We have to derive the meaning from this."
The next hearing of the case is on March 31. Public Prosecutor G G Nagrale said that, of the 64 witnesses, he would be examining only about a dozen strong ones. "Two other witnesses who saw Salman running away from the accident scene will be examined."