Mumbai: The Bombay High Court is expected to pass an order today on actor Salman Khan's appeal against his conviction in the 2002 hit-and-run case in which he was found guilty of killing a man with his SUV after a night out drinking.
While dictating the order, the court had observed that it came to the conclusion that the prosecution has failed to bring material on record to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the actor was driving and was under the influence of alcohol.
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.
"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 admitting his statement.
The sessions court had convicted Salman Khan for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and drunken driving.
The court also said that singer Kamaal Khan, who was in Mr 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.
In the early hours of September 28, 2002 the actor's Toyota Land Cruiser crashed into five men sleeping outside the American Bakery in suburban 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 with many films in the pipeline. He also endorses 10 brands.