Hit-and-run case: Anxious wait for Salman till July 24
Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: The retrial in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving Bollywood superstar Salman Khan began in a Mumbai court on Friday.
The court has set July 24 as the date when it will decide whether to frame charges against Salman Khan under IPC Section 304-B.
Salman’s Land Cruiser, allegedly driven by him, crushed a group of people sleeping on the pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra in the wee hours of September 28, 2002.
Importantly, the public prosecutor alleged in court today that the actor was driving drunk at the time of the incident in which one person was killed and three others were injured. If convicted, the actor could face up to ten years in jail.
47-year-old Khan had personally appeared before the court today. Salman Khan chose to sit on a bench meant for the public but was asked by the judge to sit on the bench meant for the accused.
Earlier the court had rejected Khan’s appeal against the magistrate`s order directing a retrial of the case under the stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The arguments in the case concluded in early May and Khan`s lawyer Ashok Mundargi had contended that the lower court`s order was "erroneous, bad in law and contrary to evidence on record".
Earlier, Khan had been tried under the less severe Section 304A of IPC, relating to causing death by negligence, which stipulates a maximum two years in jail.
However, the metropolitan magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses in the case, had invoked the more serious charge under Section 304 (III) of the IPC against Khan.
Public prosecutor had said that its witness, police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who is no more now, had repeatedly warned Khan not to drive rashly but the actor allegedly did not heed him.
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