Bollywood actor Salman Khan on Friday urged a sessions court to hear the issue of his retrial in the hit-and-run case along with his appeal against the order of a magistrate invoking charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which prescribes jail term upto ten years.
The actor's lawyer Ashok Mundargi pleaded that both matters - revision application against the magisterial court invoking the charge of culpable homicide and retrial ordered by him in the 2002 case - be clubbed and heard by the same judge.
Additional public prosecutor Nazirali H Shaikh said he had no objection to the matters being clubbed together.
Accordingly, AN Patil, additional sessions judge, referred the application filed by Salman for clubbing the two matters to the principal judge for a decision on the issue. It would come up for hearing on March 11.
The principal sessions judge would either hear the application himself or assign it to some other judge.
In keeping with the directive of a Bandra magistrate, who invoked the charge of culpable homicide, Salman has to appear before the sessions court March 11. He may either appear on that day or urge for exemption, which he has not sought so far.
In his appeal, the actor argued that the magistrate had erred in invoking the charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder' (section 304 part II IPC) in the hit-and-run case of 2002, terming it as "bad in law". The offence under this section is triable by a sessions court.
Earlier, he was tried by a magistrate under lesser charge of causing death by negligence (section 304 A IPC), that provides for a maximum punishment of two years years in jail.
After examining 17 witnesses, the magistrate had come to the conclusion that culpable homicide charge was made out against the actor and transferred the case to the sessions court for retrial.
Salman's lawyer argued that the magistrate's order was "erroneous, bad in law and contrary to evidence on record".
He said the magistrate had failed to appreciate that he (Salman) had neither the intention (to kill people) nor the knowledge that his rash and negligent driving would kill a person and cause injury to four others.
One person was killed and four others injured when the Land Cruiser allegedly driven by Salman crushed a group of people sleeping on the pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra in the wee hours on September 28, 2002.