Mumbai sessions court Judge D. W. Deshpande has announced May 6 as the date on which the judgement in the 2002 hit-and-run case featuring Bollywood superstar Salman Khan will be announced
The defense concluded their arguements on Monday. During the course of trial, prosecution examined a total of 27 witnesses while the defence examined only one witness, which was the actor driver Ashok Singh, who confessed that it was not Khan but he who was driving the car on the day of incident.
Salman Khan. File pic
The sessions court conducted a fresh trial of the case after it was transferred by magistrate’s court, which was conducting trial for the lesser charge of rash and negligent driving, which attracts a two-year jail term. The case was handed over to the sessions court midway through the trial by the magistrate court because it felt that the charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ should be added.
Once the charge was added, the sessions court had to take over the trail, since such serious charges cannot be tried in a lower court. A person found guilty of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ can be given ten years’ imprisonment.
The 2002 hit-and-run case
On September 28, 2002, Salman Khan’s white Land Cruiser ran onto the pavement near the bakery in Bandra, killing one and injuring four others who were sleeping on the pavement. The actor has been accused of driving the car while being drunk
September 28, 2002: Shortly after 2 a.m., Bollywood actor Salman Khan's Toyota Land Cruiser rams into a roadside bakery in Bandra West, close to his seafront home in Galaxy Apartments. Four people sleeping outside the bakery are injured; one dies later.
Later that afternoon, Khan is arrested by the olice and enlarged on bail by a metropolitan magistrate's court.
October 21: Salman charged under Section 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
October 24: Salman re-arrested; secures bail from a sessions court.
March: Salman challenges the application of Section 304 II of the IPC.
May: Court rejects Khan's application and asks the magistrate's court to frame charges under the section 304 II of the IPC.
June: Salman appeals in the Bombay High Court, which holds that the section is not applicable in the case.
October: The state challenges the high court order in the Supreme Court.
December: Supreme Court rules that the magistrate should, after perusing the evidence, decide whether to invoke the section 304 II.
October 2006: The Bandra metropolitan magistrate's Court frames charges against the actor under section 304 I (rash and negligent driving) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
May 22, 2007: A chemical analysis report suggests that Salman Khan was drunk at the time of the accident.
March 2011: The prosecution seeks enhanced charges against Salman.
December 2012: The Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court rules that a case has been made out under Sec. 304 II and commits the trial to the Mumbai Sessions Court.
March 2013: Salman files a revision application with the Sessions Court, challenging the lower court order.
June 24: The sessions court rejects Salman's application, paving the way for applying the stringent section.
July 23: The Mumbai Sessions court frames charges against Salman invoking the enhanced charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder.'
December: The Mumbai Sessions Court orders a fresh trial against the actor and with recording of fresh evidence from all witnesses who had also deposed before the Metropolitan Magistrate court.
April 2014: First witness Samba Gowda deposes in the re-trial, and it continues before the Sessions Court with regular hearings.
March 25, 2015: Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat closed his case against Salman after examining 27 witnesses during the re-trial.
April 20: Defence counsel Shrikant Shivade forcefully argues against prosecution charges and closes its arguments.
April 20: Mumbai Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande sets date for verdict.
Charges against Salman:
Indian Penal Code Sec. 304 part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) which attracts upto 10 years in prison; Sec. 279 (rash and negligent driving) which stipulates six months jail; Secs. 337 & 338 (causing hurt by act endangering life and causing grievous hurt) with punishment up to two years; Sec. 427 (mischief causing damage to property) with maximum punishment of upto 2 years.
Motor Vehicle Act: Secs. 34 (a), (b) read with 181 (driving vehicle in contravention of rules) and 185 (driving at great speed after consuming alcohol with punishment of cancellation of driving license
Bombay Prohibition Act: Driving under influence of alcohol with maximum 6 months' jail.