Salman Khan hit-and-run case: Hearing adjourned till July 20

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Salman-KhanThe hearing in the Salman Khan 2002 hit-and-run case has been adjourned till 20 July.

The Bombay HC on 1 July had deferred till July 13 an appeal filed by the Bollywood superstar against the five-year sentence awarded to him in the case, after the actor’s lawyer sought time to check documents. But the hearing as been adjourned till 20 July.

Although the ‘paper book’ (compilation of evidence and documents) was ready and copies had been served to both the sides by the court), Salman’s counsel Amit Desai urged for three weeks’ adjournment to check whether the documents were in order.

The actor’s lawyer said he would need to check whether translation of any document in vernacular language is required to be done in English. He also wanted to check whether any documents were missing, in which case he would file an application seeking a direction to place them on record.

The HC had on May 8 stayed the execution of the 5-year sentence awarded to 49-year-old Salman in the 13-year-old case and granted him bail while admitting his appeal.

Salman was convicted by a sessions court on May 6 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on various counts, including ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’.

A man was killed and four others were wounded when the actor’s Toyota Land Cruiser ran over them while they were asleep on a pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002.

Salman has challenged the findings of the trial court that he was drunk and was driving under the influence of liquor. The actor pleaded that the trial court had wrongly convicted him under the culpable homicide charge, because he had no knowledge that he would meet with an accident.

In the appeal, Salman argued that the trial court had failed to appreciate the fact that four prosecution witnesses, including the investigating officer, had said that there were four persons present in the Toyota Land Cruiser when the accident occurred and that it was the family driver Ashok Singh who was at the wheel.

Apart from being convicted of culpable homicide, Salman was also found guilty of offences under section 279 of IPC (rash and negligent driving) and sections 337 and 338 of IPC (causing hurt by acts endangering life or personal property of others), which prescribe six months’ jail.

Besides, he was sentenced to undergo jail for six months under sections 181 (driving without licence) and 185 (drink driving) of Motor Vehicles Act.

Salman was also found guilty under the Bombay Prohibition Act’s section 66 (a) and (b) for which he received two months imprisonment and fine of Rs. 500. All sentences will run concurrently.