Mumbai, Jul 24: A Mumbai court today framed charges against actor 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, setting the stage for trial.
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, pleaded not guilty to all these charges. Clad in a grey shirt and black trousers, Salman appeared before sessions Judge U B Hejib, who had on July 19 summoned him today 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. 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. He will now stand trial under a law pertaining to culpable homicide that could attract a jail term upto ten years.