Local police have failed to serve the actor summons in the 2002 hit-and-run case since November 30 and claim he is not in Mumbai.
He is a hard man to miss, but Bandra police is having a tough time reaching superstar Salman Khan. Cops so far have been unable to serve court summons to the Bollywood actor in the 2002 hit-and-run case, and the local senior police inspector claims that the celeb is out of town. The assertion is difficult to digest because Salman was caught on camera attending a high-profile Christmas party in Bandra, and has also been shooting at Mehboob Studio.
On November 30, the magistrate's court in Bandra issued show cause notice and summons to Salman Khan and Abhay Shastri - senior inspector of Bandra police station -, ordering them to remain present in court on December 27 -, which happens to be the actor's birthday. On December 4, Santosh Daundkar, the petitioner in the case, presented both summons to Bandra cops, asking them to present the documents to Khan. Three weeks later, the summons are gathering dust at the police station.
Catch me if you can: Salman Khan and Parambir Singh spotted leaving the party hosted by businessman Sunny Dewan and wife Anu in Bandra in the wee hours of Tuesday.
On December 24, Daundkar met Shastri to find out whether he had served the summons to Khan. Speaking to Mid-Day, Daundkar said, "Shastri told me that Salman was not in Mumbai.
I informed him that at the time he was shooting in Mehboob Studio. Shashtri was furious and mocked me, calling me a 'good detective'. He told me that this (serving summons) was their job, and he would satisfy the court. He added that his staff was busy in Christmas bandobast."
Shastri was not the only one busy with Christmas. Socialite Anu and husband, businessman Sunny Dewan, had organised a party that was attended by many celebs, including Khan. As a matter of fact, Special Inspector General of Police Parambir Singh was also present, leaving around 3.15 am yesterday. Loud music was being played at the gala till late at night. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's two daughters Preeti and MLA Praniti also attended.
According a witness, the party went on till 7 am. He said, "Special IGP Parambir Singh was seen leaving the Union Park venue around 3.15 am with wife Savita. He later sat in his Tata Indigo Manza, which had a beacon on it, and left. Singh was seen avoiding the photographers and requesting them to not click him."
Daundkar gave an application in writing to Shastri informing him that a court hearing was scheduled for December 27 and he was required to serve the summons to Salman. "Police have been favouring Khan from the outset in this case. Shastri's behaviour is not acceptable. We will ask the court to punish him," said Abha Singh, Daundkar's lawyer.
Daundkar, an RTI activist responsible for exposing the Adarsh scam, had filed a petition in the hit-and-run case in Bandra court. Abha Singh, a former bureaucrat and wife of noted lawyer and former IPS officer YP Singh argued that while trials were promptly concluded in other sensitive cases, Khan's case had dragged on. Last month in a press conference Singh had briefed the media on how Khan was 'manipulating the case with the help of police'.
On September 28, 2002, Salman allegedly rammed his car into a bakery in Bandra and ran over people sleeping on the pavement, killing one person and injuring four others.
- Inputs by Vinay Dalvi
The other side
When contacted, a Bandra police station officer, on condition of anonymity, said, "I am not aware of any late night party or loud music." Speaking to Mid-Day, Special IGP Parambir Singh said, "I had gone to the party for a short time and left early."
However, sources from Bandra police station said, "How do you expect us to take action against a party where the union home minister's daughters and other VVIPs were present?"
Despite repeated attempts to reach him over the phone and via text messages, Abhay Shastri remained unavailable for comment.