Mumbai: Bollywood star Salman Khan's driver, Ashok Singh, today confessed that he was driving the SUV that ran over people sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai in 2002.
Denying prosecution's allegation that he was paid huge sum to own up the crime, he said, "I was driving when the tyre burst and the brake jammed. The car went over the steps. I saw that people were trapped beneath. I got out of the right side and Salman too got out of the right side as the left door was jammed."
He added that he, along with Salman Khan, tried to lift the car, a Toyota Land Cruiser, but could not.
"Till then, his name had never appeared in the case, barring a small mention in the beginning of the investigation that Ashok Singh used to drive Salman's car in the day. At no point in time had the actor claimed till last week that Ashok was driving the car," special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said outside the court room.
On March 27, Salman had told a Mumbai court, conducting his retrial in the 2002 hit-and-run case, that he was neither driving the vehicle at the time of the accident nor was he drunk.
Salman said that his driver Ashok Singh was at the wheel of the SUV which rammed into the American Express Bakery in suburban Bandra in the early hours of September 28, 2002.
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.