A sessions court in Mumbai on Wednesday framed charges against Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case, charging him with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and setting the stage for start of trial in the highly-publicised case.
If convicted, the actor faces jail term of upto ten years.
The actor has been charged under sections Section 304(2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 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.
Abha Singh, a lawyer involved in the case, said the court on Wednesday also charged Khan with negligent driving.
Khan pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Actor Salman Khan leaves after appearing in a court following the hit-and-run case in Mumbai. (PTI Photo)
Clad in a grey shirt and black trousers, Salman appeared before sessions judge UB Hejib, who had on July 19 summoned him on Wednesday for framing of charges for starting afresh the trial in the 11-year-old case.
The actor moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance during the trial which was granted.
One person was killed and four others, sleeping on a pavement in Bandra, were injured when Khan's Toyota Land Cruiser allegedly rammed into a bakery on the night of September 28, 2002.
Meanwhile, the judge who has been hearing the case has been transferred and trial would be conducted by another judge.
He was, however, directed to be present before the court whenever required.
At the beginning of the proceedings, the judge expressed his inability to take up the case for framing the charges as he has been transferred.
However, prosecutor Shankar Erande pleaded that charges should be framed today itself as the actor was going abroad for two months which could further delay the trial.
At his request, the judge read out the charges to Salman, who pleaded not guilty to all.
One person was killed and four others were injured when the Land Cruiser, allegedly driven by Salman Khan, crushed a group of people sleeping on the pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002.
Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade urged the court to direct the media to observe restraint as too much publicity was being given to the case and also the proceedings were not correctly reported.
The Judge asked the media to observe restraint in coverage and report correctly the proceedings of the case.
The Sessions Court had on June 24 upheld a magistrate's order that the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was made out against the 47-year-old superstar and dismissed his appeal against the verdict.
The actor had earlier been tried by a metropolitan magistrate for a lesser offence of causing death by negligence (Section 304 A of IPC), which provides for a maximum sentence of two years.
(With HTC, PTI and AP inputs)