MUMBAI: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s infamous 2002 hit-and-run case has gotten a lot more serious.
Earlier, the actor was charged under section 304 A, for rash and negligent driving. Thursday, the Bandra Magistrate’s court has accepted the prosecution’s plea to enhance charges. In effect now Salman will be tried for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, under section 304 (II) of the Indian Penal Code.
In 2003, when the trial of the case had begun, Salman was initially booked under section 304 (II) itself. The charge was later withdrawn after the actor filed a petition in the Bombay High Court. However, the Supreme Court did not agree with the Bombay High Court, and ruled that the Magistrate conducting the trial could amend the charge if there was any supporting evidence.
In defense, Salman Khan’s lawyer Dipesh Mehta argues, “There is no change in circumstances and the evidence is still not complete. We will challenge the decision in the High court.”
What had happened: On September 28, 2002, Salman Khan allegedly rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser into the American Express Bakery on Hill Road, Bandra, in an inebriated state. The accident led to the death of one and injured four of the victims sleeping on the side of a shop.
For now, Khan will have to appear before the sessions court on February 11 for the matter – he has been booked for rash driving, causing minor injuries, causing major injuries, negligence and culpable homicide not amounting to murder (with a maximum punishment of 10 years). He also is charged under the Motor Vehicles Act and other laws.