Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Charges likely to be framed against Salman Khan in 2002 hit-and-run case

A sessions court is likely to frame charges against Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the 11-year-old hit-and-run case on Wednesday. The actor will have to appear before the court.

How Salman got into trouble
On the night of September 28, 2002, superstar Salman Khan's Land Cruiser allegedly ran over five people sleeping on the footpath outside American Express bakery on Hill Road in Bandra, killing one and injuring four others. Witnesses have alleged that the actor was driving the vehicle, but the actor has denied the charge.

Hit and Run/Accident
Past media reports have suggested that Salman Khan had fled the spot after the accident and surrendered to police after eight hours. His father, noted Bollywood scriptwriter Salim Khan has vehemently denied that Salman Khan fled the scene and has repeatedly expressed displeasure known over his son's "accident case" being referred to as "hit and-run case."

Drunk or not
According to medical reports submitted in the case the actor was under the influence of alcohol. Chemical analysis report filed in 2007 had showed that Salman had 62 mg alcohol in his blood on the night of accident.

More serious charge
Last month on June 24 the Sessions court had ruled that the offense of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder' under IPC holds against Salman Khan in a 2002 hit-and-run case and rejected his appeal challenging a Magistrate's order invoking this charge. Dictating the order in an open court, Sessions Judge UB Hejib ruled that Salman would face the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and will face trial for the same.

Appeal rejected
Advancing his argument against invoking the grave charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (section 304 part II IPC), Salman's counsel Ashok Mundargi pleaded that the Magistrate's order was "erroneous, bad in law and contrary to evidence on record." The counsel had said that the Magistrate had failed to appreciate that the actor had neither the intention to kill people, nor the knowledge that his rash and negligent driving would kill a person and cause injury to four others. Public Prosecutor Shankar Erande while opposing Salman's appeal said the Magistrate had rightly invoked the charge of culpable homicide as he had committed a serious offence.

The punishment
If convicted under the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder the actor might have to face up to 10 years of imprisonment. The actor was earlier tried by a magistrate under a less serious charge of causing death by negligence (Section 304 A of IPC). Being convicted under this provision would have resulted in a maximum two years of imprisonment for the actor.

The dragging case
Abha Singh, a social activist and a lawyer had filed a private complaint before the Bandra Metropolitan court pointing out loop holes in the police probe and alleged that the police investigators were trying to shield the actor. Singh alleged that because of police negligence, the hit-and-run case in court has been dragging on for the last 11 years. A Mumbai daily had pointed out that the cops had failed to serve summons to the actor in the 2002 hit-and-run case since November 2012, claiming he was not in town.

Bodyguard who tried to shield Salman
Earlier, according to reports in the media Salman's then police bodyguard Ravindra Patil had tried to shield the actor by telling the police that it was he who was driving the car. 64 witnesses testified before the court, and ultimately it was proved that it was Salman who was driving the vehicle. Ravindra Patil who was the prosecution witness later turned hostile and disowned his own statement. Patil was reported to have died under mysterious circumstances in 2007.

Compensating the victims
The Bombay High Court, while hearing a PIL on October 7, 2002, had directed Salman Khan to pay Rs.19 lakh as compensation to the victims within two weeks. This included Rs.10 lakh to the family of the deceased. The Khan family had got the compensation amount deposited with the court but according to reports they were not able to receive it at the time due to lack of proper identification.

Return my car
It was also reported that Salman Khan had requested the court that his Landcruiser be returned, but the trial court refused.

Mental schedule not disrupted
The trial in this case could have disrupted the actor's schedule. The actor was shooting in Hyderabad for his brother Sohail Khan directed film Mental. Sources say the Hyderabad schedule was over on July 16. Both the brothers were recently photographed returning from Hyderabad on July 17.

The other case
In 1998, Salman spent three days in prison for hunting black bucks in Rajasthan during the shooting of Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Saath Saath Hain. The black buck is an endangered species and hunting it is a crime under the Wild Life Protection Act. Saif Ali Khan and Tabu were also accused of the crime. All three actors are currently out on bail.

Source : Indiatoday.com

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