The Bombay high court is hearing the actor’s appeal against his May conviction and five year jail sentence. While concluding his submissions in the appeal Khan’s counsel Amit Desai tendered a fresh plea which the actor made before Justice A R Josh requesting that Kamaal should be made a witness since he was in the car that night but was never examined as a witness by the prosecution, although he was clearly a crucial eye-witness in the case.
The prosecution team of Sandeep Shine and Purnima Kantharia are now in the process of making the submissions on why the actor’s appeal has no merit and must be dismissed. On Monday while Shinde was arguing, Desai asked about the fate of his application and Shinde then submitted the state’s written reply in court to oppose the request regarding Kamaal Khan.
The HC will hear the arguments on the application on Tuesday to decide whether to call him as a witness. The actor, who continues to be out on bail, following his conviction, had through his counsel been questioning why had Kamaal Khan—the fourth occupant—of the car, as he put it, never been made a witness by the police or examined in court during the trial.
The police had said there were only three persons in the car. But Salman Khan said his driver Ashok Singh was the fourth “It is not that we have not tried to get in touch with him and examine as a prosecution witness, but we could not find him….besides, the defence could also have examined him as a defence witness, if they wanted to,” Shinde said. What the court decides on Khan’s plea will set the course for the future hearing of the appeal now.
The actor feels Kamaal can shed more light on the case as a witness in his favour. Desai, while moving the application, had stated: “Kamaal Khan’s statement was recorded under 161 of the CrPc by the Bandra police station, he was listed as a witness in the Bandra Magistrate’s Court, he was listed as a witness in the Mumbai Sessions Court, but was not examined as a witness….the first informant Ravindra Patil has said that the Kamaal Khan was in the car.”
Desai had said that this was a criminal trial and since the first informant who registered the complaint and FIR, was no more and was not available for cross-examination, he should have been examined.