Salman Khan hit-and-run case: Court reserves order on three pleas
A sessions court today reserved order till September 24 on actor Salman Khan’s plea for a direction to the media to report true and fair proceedings of the 2002 hit-and-run-case involving him. Judge S D Deshpande, after hearing arguments, also reserved order till September 24 on two applications filed by activist Santosh Daundkar.
One application pleaded that Daundkar be allowed to intervene in the case to help the prosecution. The other prayed for transfer of his complaint from magistrate court to sessions court about action against Salman Khan and police for perjury (giving false evidence) by producing wrong witnesses in this case, as a result of which the trial was delayed.Salman Khan’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade argued that the media was biased against the actor and was not reporting correctly the court proceedings. This had tarnished the image of Salman Khan in the eyes of public, he alleged and said that media be directed to report true and fair proceedings of the case.
Daundkar’s lawyers Aditya Pratap and Abha Singh argued that their client wanted to intervene in this case in public interest, to help the prosecution. They said section 301(1) of CrPc allowed Daundkar to intervene in the matter to help the prosecution. The lawyers cited three Supreme Court judgements to support their arguments.
On the other hand, Salman Khan’s lawyer argued that Daundkar was a third party and could not intervene in the case. He cited nine judgements to argue his case.
The prosecutor said he had no objection if Daundkar and his lawyers helped the prosecution. However, they had no right to examine the witnesses, he said.
As regards Daundkar’s plea for perjury action against Salman Khan and police, his lawyers said that the Magistrate’s court at Bandra was inquiring into the matter.
The lawyers argued that the inquiry should now be conducted by the sessions court because the hit-and-run case has been transferred from Magistrate’s court to sessions court after it was held that the charge of culpable homicide was made out against the actor.
Daundkar is demanding perjury action against Salman Khan and police because according to him both had connived to produce wrong witnesses and delayed the trial. Salman Khan did not appear today as he has been exempted from personal appearance until further orders. On July 24, the court had framed charges against Salman Khan for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the hit-and-run case for which he may face a jail term upto 10 years.
Apart from section 304(2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), the Bollywood superstar was 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.
The actor, however, had pleaded not guilty to all these charges. 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. He will now stand trial under a law pertaining\ to culpable homicide that could attract a jail term upto ten years.
A man was killed and four others were injured when a Land Cruiser allegedly driven by an inebriated Salman Khan had ploughed through a group of people sleeping on the pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra in the wee hours of September 28, 2002.
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