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Salman plea to examine Kamaal Khan as witness rejected


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected a plea filed by Bollywood megastar Salman Khan to examine as a prosecution witness his friend and singer Kamaal Khan in the 2002 accident case involving the actor.

Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai had filed the plea on November 16 before Justice A. R. Joshi, who is hearing the actor’s appeal against the conviction and five-year sentence awarded by a lower court last May.

Salman sought Kamaal Khan’s examination as a prosecution witness under Criminal Procedure Code’s (CrPC) section 391, on if additional evidence required while hearing the appeal.

Justice Joshi declined to summon Kamaal Khan ruling that recourse to this section is taken in special cases where circumstances specially warrant it.

“There is nothing to show that, but for the substantial evidence of Kamaal Khan, no decision can be taken in the appeal,” he ruled.

He added that if there was no dire need for Kamaal Khan’s examination and if the available material can be analysed, then recourse to section 391 was not the ultimate requirement.

The judge also noted that when the prosecution had informed the sessions court that Kamaal Khan could not be traced, Salman took no steps at that stage.

However, at the fag end of the case, the appellant chose to call his driver Ashok Singh as a defence witness in the sessions court, but not to call Kamaal Khan then, he added.

Both the prosecution and defence have agreed that Kamaal Khan was present in the car before and during the time of the accident in the early hours of September 28, 2002.

Later, Kamaal Khan’s statement was recorded by the Mumbai Police under section 161 of the CrPC, but he did not appear before the magistrate to record his evidence.

Desai has argued that Kamaal Khan is the best eyewitness available to the prosecution and his name was listed as a witness in the FIR and the charge sheet, and could throw light on who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

The matter will continue with the prosecution arguments on Tuesday.

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