"I am praying that Salman gets free," eye witness John Francis Fernandes told media persons.
Recalling the incident at that fateful night 63-year-old Fernandes said, "Heard loud noise, then heard people asking for help"bachao", so I came running. When I came close the scene I recognised Salman, didn't see whether he was driving or not, he was standing out of car when I came."
Fernandes is Salman's neighbour and lives near the accident site. Earlier last year, he told court that when he reached on the spot the actor was surrounded by crowd.
The 49-year-old actor has been convicted for culpable homicide under IPC not amounting to murder, which attracts maximum 10 years imprisonment. The quantum of sentence will be out in a short while which will decide the fate of the actor.
When I came close the scene I recognized Salman,didn't see whether he was driving or not,he was standing out of car when I came:John Francis
When I came close the scene I recognized Salman,didn't see whether he was driving or not,he was standing out of car when I came:John Francis— ANI (@ANI_news) May 6, 2015
Earlier, judge DW Deshpande had summoned Salman to the sessions court at 11.15 am when the court delivered in the 13-year-old case.
The actor who was shooting in Srinagar for his film 'Baijrangi Bhaijan' returned to Mumbai on Tuesday. The court will begin the hearing at 11 am. As much as Rs 200 crore is riding on the actor and the film industry is patiently waiting for the verdict.
On September 28, 2002 Salman's car had allegedly rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one person and injuring, four others who were sleeping outside. The film industry is keeping its fingers crossed as an investment of about Rs 200 crore is riding on the "Dabangg" star.
After Sanjay Dutt, Salman is the second big star from Hindi film industry to get embroiled in a high-profile criminal case in recent years.
The "Wanted" star is also facing trial in a Rajasthan court for hunting a black buck during the shooting of "Hum Saath Saath Hain".
(With inputs from agencies)