Lawyers trying to put Bollywood star Salman Khan behind bars for an alleged hit-and-run incident in Mumbai, India, have been given a boost from the actor's bodyguard.

RAVINDRA PATIL, who was travelling with Khan when he crashed into a bakery in September 2002, told a court in Bandra on Friday (13JAN06) that the actor was driving with undue care and attention.

The bodyguard claimed in court that he warned Khan to drive more carefully minutes before the tragedy.

According to police, Khan killed one person and injured another four before leaving the scene of the accident. Patil contacted the authorities.

The actor later surrendered and was arrested by police after a case was registered against him.

Khan maintains his innocence and his lawyer Dipesh Mehta is keen to cross-examine Patil when the trial resumes on 19 January (06).

Mehta tells the Times Of India, "We shall grill Patil on January 19 and seek to demolish his claim about cautioning Salman."