Bollywood actor Salman Khan's 2002 hit-and-run-case has taken yet another twist, with the actor's lawyer claiming that the car involved in the accident was 'tampered' with by the Mumbai police.
Following Salman's appeal against the conviction and the five-year jail sentence, the Bombay High Court is currently hearing the case.
During the latest hearing, Salman's lawyer said that the police might have 'tampered' with parts of the car as statements from the witnesses and the RTO officer did not match.
While the witnesses claimed that the car's wheel was punctured, the RTO officer said the car's tyre was in good condition, according to the defence lawyer.
"PW-1 (panch witness Sambha Kanappa Gowda) has spoken about seeing the front left wheel punctured. The first informant and star witness late Ravindra Patil speaks about left front tyre punctured. PW-27 (inspector Kisan Narayan Sengal, the investigating officer) says in his cross-examination that he did not send the tyre for examination, which means he has also seen it in burst condition. If he (the RTO officer) was there, he should have found out that the tyre had burst and if he was there and has seen something else, someone might have replaced the tyre," NDTV quoted advocate Amit Desai as arguing.
"We strongly believe that the tyre, a vital piece of evidence, has been tampered with," said the lawyer, highlighting the contradictory statements. The case is being heard by Justice AR Joshi.
On 6 May, Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande convicted Salman in the 2002 hit-and-run case on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced him to five years in prison.
However, two days later, the Bombay High Court suspended his jail term and asked Salman to surrender before the sessions court to get a fresh bail bond.
In 2002, Salman's Land Rover crashed into a footpath near a laundry shop on Bandra's Hill Road area in Mumbai killing one and injuring four others.