Actor Salman Khan has been asked to be present in the Bombay High Court in the afternoon for the expected decision on his appeal against conviction in a 2002 hit-and-run case. In May, the 49-year-old had been held guilty by a lower court of killing a man with his SUV after a night out drinking.
On December 9, the court said that the prosecution had failed to establish beyond doubt that the actor was driving and was drunk at the time of the accident.
The court has also questioned the credibility of Mr Khan's bodyguard Ravindra Patil, a key prosecution witness who had said that the actor was driving drunk and had ignored his warnings repeatedly. No one but Mr Patil had given this version, the court noted.(Also Read: Salman Hit-And-Run: High Court To Decide On Appeal Against Conviction
"If the witness is partly reliable, then corroboration is required. Ravindra Patil cannot be considered as a wholly reliable witness," the court said, asserting that the sessions court had made a mistake by relying on his statement.
The court also said that singer Kamaal Khan, who was also in Salman Khan's car that night, should have been examined. Last month, Mr Khan's plea to make Kamaal Khan a witness in the case was dismissed by the court.
"The defence brought the witness at an appropriate time, it is not delayed defence," said the court, dismissing the prosecution's arguments.
The actor was sentenced by a lower court to five years in jail after his conviction. He then went to the High Court, which suspended his sentence.
In the early hours of September 28, 2002 the actor's Toyota Land Cruiser crashed into five men sleeping outside the American Bakery in Bandra. One person, Nurullah Sharif, died in the accident and four were injured.
Mr Khan's lawyers have argued that it was driver Ashok Singh, and not the actor who was driving that night.
Mr Khan has starred in more than 100 films and television shows and is one of Bollywood's busiest actors. He is said to have Rs 200 crore riding on him.