Actor Salman Khan will now be tried for ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ under which he can be sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
The Mumbai Sessions Court on Monday rejected Khan’s appeal challenging the magistrate’s order invoking this charge. Sessions judge UB Hejib ruled that Khan would face the charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ under Section 304 IPC. Mr. Khan was earlier tried for the lesser charge of ‘causing death by negligence’ under Section 304 A IPC by the magistrate court under which the maximum jail term is two years.
The actor’s lawyer, Ashok Mundargi, argued that the magistrate had failed to appreciate that the actor had neither the intention to kill people nor the knowledge that his driving would kill a person and cause injury.
Public prosecutor Shankar Erande argued that the actor’s police bodyguard (late Ravindra Patil) had warned Khan that his rash driving could lead to a mishap. It was also submitted to the court that Khan was drunk. “The actor was fully aware of the topography of the area as the accident scene is very close to his house. Hence he was aware that people sleep on the footpath in his locality,” argued Mr. Erande. One person was killed in the incident.
The retrial of the case will begin on July 19.