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Hit and run: HC defers Salman Khan case to July 1

Salman's sentence suspended

Mumbai: Ordering expeditious completion of case papers, the Bombay High Court today adjourned till July 1 a criminal appeal filed by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan against his conviction in the hit-and-run case in which he has been awarded a five-year jail sentence.

When the case came up for hearing, Justice A R Joshi was informed by Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai that the ‘paper book’ (compilation of evidence and documents which is served to both the sides by the court) was not complete.

The judge then ordered that this task should be expeditiously completed and deferred the matter till July 1.

On behalf of the Maharashtra government, Chief Public Prosecutor S S Shinde appeared and consented to the date fixed for the next hearing.

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

Apart from being convicted of culpable homicide, Khan was also found guilty of offences under section 279 IPC (rash and negligent driving) and sections 337 and 338 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.

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