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Statements of witnesses untraceable in Salman's case

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Statements of witnesses untraceable in Salmans case
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Mumbai: In a fresh development in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan, the prosecution informed the trial court today that original police statements of two witnesses were "untraceable," following which the case was adjourned to July 25.

The trial could not proceed, although two witnesses were kept ready for examination, as their statements were not before the court and said to be "missing."

Police told the court that the statements of these two witnesses were not traceable and may have been kept at the local Bandra court where the trial was conducted earlier.

Judge D W Deshpande, while fixing fresh dates for the trial on July 25, 30 and 31, asked police to trace the papers and place them before the court on the next occasion.

Police officer Kishin Shenghal, who had probed the case earlier, informed the judge that the papers were missing and said he had informed the Joint Commissioner of Police about this. Since Shenghal has retired, Rajendra Kane has been appointed as investigation officer in this case. He too was present in the court.

One of the two witnesses, Kalpesh Verma, who was the Manager at the parking place in J W Marriot Hotel, was ready to depose. However, prosecutor Jagannath Kenjralkar sought time as he said that the statement of this witness recorded by police was not before the court.

It is the case of police that the actor had visited the hotel just before the accident occurred on September 28, 2002, in which one person was killed and four others injured.

Salman, dressed in a blue shirt and jeans, was in the dock. When the case did not begin at 11 AM as the prosecutor had not arrived, he came out from the dock and sat with his sister Alvira. Later, he again entered the box reserved for the accused when the hearing began.

Tight security prevailed in the court with the police allowing only advocates and media persons for the trial. A total of 11 witnesses have been examined so far and one of them turned hostile Tuesday.

Agencies

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