Salman Khan formally charged with culpable homicide
Last month a Mumbai court rejected Salman Khan's review plea challenging a magistrate's order for a re-trial in his 2002 hit-and-run case, in which one person was killed and four were injured. The actor's Toyota SUV ran over pavement dwellers in suburban Bandra in the early hours of 28 September 2002, for which he was earlier being tried under a lesser charge of rash and negligent driving.
The case took an ugly turn earlier today (24 July 2013), after a Mumbai court formally charged the actor with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
If found guilty, Salman could face a 10-year prison term.
The trial is expected to start from 16 August 2013.
However, in a counter move, Salman, 47, today pleaded "not guilty" to this and other charges framed against him by Sessions Judge U.B. Hejib.
The other charges have been slapped on the actor are causing death by negligence (Salman was allegedly inebriated at the time) along with offences as per the Motor Vehicles Act and the Bombay Prohibition Act.
However, the court accepted an application moved by the actor seeking exemption from personal appearance during the trial and granted the request.
Sessions Judge Hejib directed Salman Khan to remain present before the court whenever required and read out the charges to him.
The magistrate had tried him under the lesser charge of causing death by negligence under IPC Section 304-A, which stipulates a maximum two-year jail sentence.
Earlier Wednesday morning, Sessions Judge Hejib expressed inability to frame the charges against Salman since he was transferred to a new assignment.
Public prosecutor Shankar Erande urged the court to frame the charges Wednesday itself since the accused actor was planning to travel abroad for two months and it could further delay the eleven year old case.
Accepting a plea by the actor's lawyer, the court also directed the media to exercise restraint in coverage of the trial and report the case proceedings accurately.
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