Fresh trial against Salman Khan in hit-and-run case

Salman KhanThe earlier charge carried the maximum punishment of two-year jail term. PTI

A sessions court Thursday ordered a "fresh trial" against Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case following its decision to enhance the charges against the actor.

Khan, who was earlier being tried for causing death by negligence under section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code, is now facing the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304-II, which attracts a maximum punishment of 10 years. The earlier charge carried the maximum punishment of two-year jail term.

Following a legal procedure, sessions judge D W Deshpande had during the last hearing raised a query whether the evidence should be recorded all over again or the same evidence be brought on record. The prosecution claimed that recording the statements again would cause delay in trial. Khan's lawyer Shrikant Shivde, however, opposed it.

The court Thursday ordered a fresh trial and adjourned the hearing till December 23.

The case has dragged on for over 11 years. In August 2011, the prosecution had sought enhancement of charges against Khan. While the magistrate passed a favourable order, it was opposed by Khan in the sessions court, which upheld the magistrate's order.

The case dates back to September 28, 2002, when Khan's Toyota Land Cruiser had crashed into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one and injuring four others who were sleeping on a pavement.

Noorulla Mahboob Sharif had died in the mishap while Abdul Rauf Shaikh, Kalim Mohammed Pathan and Munna Malai Khan were injured.

The magistrate court had already recorded a few witnesses, including Khan's police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who had claimed to have warned Khan against rash driving. Patil succumbed to tuberculosis a few years after the incident. Now even if the evidence is freshly recorded, Patil's statement before the magistrate is admissible, an officer privy to the investigations said.

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