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HC rejects plea to cancel Salman’s bail and enhance jail term

Salman attends last rites of family friend

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today dismissed two applications seeking cancellation of Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s bail and enhancement of five-year jail term awarded to him in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

The applications were filed by Sushilabai Patil, mother of late Ravindra Patil, the complainant in the case and Salman’s ex-police bodyguard who passed away during the trial.

In another development, the Court today fixed the hearing of Salman’s appeal against conviction on a daily basis from September 21.

Justice A R Joshi rejected Patil’s application seeking cancellation of Salman’s bail and enhancement of punishment awarded to him on the ground that the applicant had earlier also made a similar plea and the HC had rejected it on the ground that she had no locus standi.

The applicant urged that Salman was convicted earlier by a Rajasthan court in black buck killing case and this was not communicated to the Mumbai Magistrate who granted him bail in the 2002 hit-and-run case after adding the charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ under IPC.

Hence, his bail should be cancelled because a convict cannot get liberty in any other case, Patil’s lawyer Manohar Sharma argued.

It was on the basis of Ravindra Patil’s complaint that Salman was booked in the case. Patil had told police that the actor was driving the car on September 28, 2002, when it rammed into a shop in suburban Bandra killing one person and injuring four others who were sleeping outside.

He had also alleged that Salman was under the influence of liquor.

Salman’s lawyer, Amit Desai, once again, objected today to the paper-book saying that some documents were still missing, following which the court allowed the defence team and prosecution to sit together and inspect the records and proceedings of the case.

The court also asked the defence and the prosecution to place the ‘missing’ documents before it on the next occasion so that it could consider adding them in the paper-book.

Paper-book is a compilation of evidence, documents and the lower court’s orders/verdict, prepared by the HC registry. It is given to both the sides when appeal is heard.

Justice A R Joshi is hearing an appeal filed by Salman against the five-year sentence awarded to him on May 6 by the sessions court in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

Salman’s lawyer had earlier objeted to the previous paper-book saying that some crucial documents were missing. So, the judge had directed that it be prepared afresh.

Desai had said that among other things the paper-book did not have a document pertaining to a media interview given by Ravindra Patil who was then Salman’s bodyguard and who was in the car when the accident took place.

Patil, who died during the trial, had contradicted in the interview his own statement before the magistrate that the actor was driving the car in a drunken state, Salman’s lawyer had alleged in an application.

The missing document was vital for the defence to prove that Patil was not telling the truth, the application said.

Salman, who is on bail, did not come to the court today. Also, his family members were not present.

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