Mumbai: While recording his statement in 2002 hit and run case, Bollywood star Salman Khan today told the trial court that he was not driving the SUV that ran over people sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai. He also said that he had not consumed alcohol that day.
"Salman Khan has told the court that his driver was driving the car and he had not consumed alcohol," the public prosecutor told reporters.
The 49-year-old repeatedly denied that he was drunk and that he drove his Toyota Land Cruiser at a high speed in the early hours of September 28, 2002 when it hits the pavement, killing one and injuring other four people.
While responding to multiple witnesses including his bodyguard Ravindra Patil, Salman said, "My left door was jammed so I could not open it so I had to get out from the driver's side." He admitted that he sat behind the wheels but only briefly while waiting for his other driver.
A parking attendant who had said that he handed over the car to the actor, Khan said that he doesn't remember.
Although he did not deny of visiting a bar before the accident, he said that he only drank water and the bills made out for drinks and food were not his.
On the question why his pupils were dilated, he said, "I was awake all night."
He also rejected the claim that he ran away after the accident and said, "I instructed the driver to inform the police. I remained at the spot for 15 minutes or more."
Earlier in the day, Salman moved an application to ban the media during the recording of his statement in the case. Judge D. W. Deshpande rejected the plea but directed the media to report only after the recording of Salman's entire statement is completed.
The Judge also directed the media to refrain from opinionating in the matter, or dwelling on merits and demerits of the case and to stick to plain reporting of the actual proceedings before the court.
Salman is being tried for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison. He earlier faced a lesser charge of death by negligence, for which the punishment is a maximum of two years in jail. He is facing charges under IPC Sec. 304(II), Sec. 279, Sec. 337, Sec. 338, Sec. 427, Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949.