A sessions court today ordered for a fresh trial in the alleged hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan based on an application filed by his lawyer last month.
All the witnesses in the case will be re-examined and the evidence against him will be brought on record once again.The new trial is slated to begin on December 23.
The actor's lawyer had filed an application stating that since the section he is charged under— culpable homicide not amounting to murder — is different than the comparatively lighter charge he was earlier booked under, there should be a re-trial in the case.
As per the prosecution case, one person was killed and four others, sleeping on a pavement in Bandra, were injured when Salman's Toyota Land Cruiser allegedly rammed into a bakery on the night of September 28, 2002.
Judge UB Hejib had on July 24 framed charges against the actor for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, under which if proved guilty, the actor may face jail term up to 10 years.
Apart from section 304(2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), the actor is also charged under sections 279 (causing death by negligence), 337 (causing hurt by an act), 338 (causing grievous hurt), 427 (causing damage or mischief to property) of IPC, and provisions of Motor Vehicles Act and Bombay Prohibition Act.
On September 25, a sessions’ court rejected the plea of social activist Santosh Daundkar seeking to intervene in the case to help the prosecution in the trial.
Judge SD Deshpande ruled that only an aggrieved party, complainant or witness had a right to intervene.
The court also rejected Daundkar's another plea seeking transfer of his complaint from magistrate court to sessions court about perjury action against Salman and police for allegedly producing wrong witnesses in this case. He had pleaded that prosecution’s laxity had stretched the trial to 11 years.
The judge held that he had no jurisdiction to transfer the complaint. He asked the applicant to approach a higher court or the Principal Judge of Sessions Court in this regard.
Hit-and-run or accident?
Some media reports had suggested Salman had fled the spot after the accident and surrendered before the police after more than eight hours. The actor’s lawyers had urged the court to direct the media to report the matter fairly, accusing them of portraying him in a bad manner. His father and noted Bollywood scriptwriter Salim Khan had objected to the incident referred to as “hit-and-run case”.
Khan case got weakened when medical reports confirmed he had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Chemical analysis report filed in 2007 had showed that Salman had 62 mg alcohol in his blood on the night of accident.