Cops deny they delayed trial

Bandra Police Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court denying allegations of deliberately delaying the trial for four years in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan. Social activist Santosh Daundkar had filed a complaint alleging that the police were delaying the trial in order to favour the actor.

Daundkar alleged that the police were intentionally bringing wrong witnesses, as a result of which the proceedings were hampered.

The case has been adjourned till March 5. In a brief reply filed before the court on Wednesday, the Bandra police has stated, "We did not cause any delay."

The trial began in 2006, and till January 25, 2011, 17 witnesses had been examined. These included doctors, injured, eyewitnesses and a vehicle inspector.

The case dates back to September 28, 2002, when Khan had allegedly driven his Land Cruiser into the American Express Bakery on Hill Road, killing one and injuring four persons sleeping on the pavement outside the shop.

Earlier, Khan had pleaded that he was not responsible for delaying the trial and sought dismissal of the complaint. According to Khan's lawyer, the Bombay High Court had granted him permanent exemption from appearance on June 10, 2005, and hence the actor did not appear in the trial.

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