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High Court defers Salman’s appeal to July 13 as actor seeks time

Salman Khan at Sessions Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today deferred till July 13 an appeal filed by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan against the five-year sentence awarded to him in the hit-and-run case, after the actor’s lawyer sought time to check documents.

Although the ‘paper book’ (compilation of evidence and documents) is ready and copies have 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.

Justice A R Joshi, however, granted adjournment till July 13 to carry out the drill of checking documents.

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.

On behalf of the Maharashtra government, Chief Public Prosecutor S S Shinde consented to the adjournment date.

Salman did not come to the court. His sister Alvira was, however, present.

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.

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