Mumbai: A court in Mumbai, which was hearing a case in connection with an application accusing Salman Khan of delaying the trial of the 2002 hit-and-run case, on Thursday exempted the actor of personal appearance. The next hearing of the case will now take place on January 30, 2013.
While the actor's sisters Arpita and Alvira had reached the court earlier in the day, Salman had said that he too would be reaching for the hearing but then the court exempted him from personal appearance. "The summon has been served and I'm waiting for the court to call me. We've been with the law and done what the law required us to do," he said while waiting outside the court.
Salman's Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle had rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra killing one and injuring four persons who were sleeping on a pavement on September 28, 2002. On December 3, former bureaucrat-turned-lawyer Aabha Singh had moved an application before the court alleging the actor was delaying the trial, after which the court issued summons to Salman.
"We have received summons. I would appear in the court", said Salman's lawyer Dipesh Mehta. The actor, who was booked on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder after the mishap, has maintained that it was merely an accident and he did not have any intention to kill anyone. The Bombay High Court had held that Section 304 part II of the Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) was not applicable in this case and the actor be tried under 304 A of IPC (rash and negligent driving) and other relevant sections.
The Metropolitan Magistrate's court in Bandra had framed charges against Salman under sections 304 A of IPC (rash and negligent driving), 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing minor injuries), 338 (causing major injuries) and 427 (negligence). However, earlier this year, police had sought that Salman be tried for more serious charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder'. Their application is still pending.
The trial in the case started in 2005 and the prosecution has already examined eleven witnesses. Two witnesses, including Salman's police guard Ravindra Patil and Ramasray Pandey who had witnessed the accident, turned hostile.