As the trial of 2002 hit-and-run case is nearing its end, the sessions court here today said it proposes to record the statement of the accused, Bollywood actor Salman Khan, from March 23 to enable him present his defence on the evidence put up by the prosecution.
Khan’s statement would be recorded under section 313 of Criminal Procedure Code which allows the accused to tell the court his/her side of the story at any point during the trial.
“I propose to record Khan’s statement for two days from March 23,” said the judge D W Deshpande. However, this can start only after deposition of all the witnesses is over, he added.
About 25 witnesses have already deposed. Investigation officer Rajendra Kadam’s deposition concluded today. Another officer, Kishan Shengale, is deposing; his cross-examination would be held next week, said Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat.
Khan was present in the court today along with his sisters Alvira and Arpita, his bodyguard, and other staff.
Wearing a grey shirt and blue denim jeans, Khan sat with his team of lawyers. He was seen prompting defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade who was putting questions to the investigating officers (IOs).
Since the deposition of IOs is very crucial, Khan has been asked to remain present by the sessions judge who is conducting a fresh trial in this case.
The courtroom was jam-packed with lawyers, media persons and law students. Police threw a tight security cover as many people turned up to see the actor.
Salman was arrested after his car had rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra in the wee hours of September 28, 2002. One person was killed and four were injured.
A fresh trial is being held after the charge of culpable homicide, which provides for imprisonment upto ten years, was invoked. Earlier, the trial was being conducted by a magistrate, where the actor was charged with rash and negligent driving, which attracts only two years’ jail term.