The hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan did not commence on Monday as his lawyer could not come to court due to ill-health, but a key witness made an oral request for police protection which the judge said he would consider after a written submission is made.
When the court resumed on Monday morning, a lawyer from the defence team informed that Khan's counsel Srikant Shivade was unwell and sought time. Accordingly, the court adjourned the trial till January 22.
Meanwhile, Dr Suhas Pawar, who had collected the blood sample of Khan, made an oral plea through special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat for police protection. However, he did not assign any reason for seeking security.
Judge D W Deshpande asked him to give a written application for consideration of his request.
On January 22, Dr Pawar would be examined along with police constable Dilip Mane who had taken Khan to JJ Hospital from Bandra Police Station after the mishap in which the actor's car had rammed into a bakery killing one person and injuring four on September 28, 2002.
According to prosecution, Khan's blood report indicated that he had two times the permissible limit of alcohol in his blood the night he is alleged to have run over five people who were asleep on a pavement near his home in Bandra.
Earlier, a witness from Mumbai Central Forensic Science Laboratory had informed that as per the Motor Vehicle Act, permissible limit for presence of alcohol in human blood sample is 30mg per 100ml of blood, while Salman's sample showed presence of 62mg of alcohol.
Khan's lawyer had earlier pointed out an anomaly in the number of blood samples collected -- the documents did not clarify if one vial of blood was collected or two. Dr Pawar is being examined to find out how many blood samples of Khan were taken and what traces of alcohol were found in them.
Khan did not come to the court on Monday as he had already sought exemption.
Nearly 20 witnesses have already been examined in the case and a few more are left to depose.
The trial has also reached its fag end and the judge has asked the prosecution to wrap up the case as soon as possible.