Bollywood actor Salman Khan will now be tried for culpable homicide, a lesser offence of ‘death caused by negligence’, for the 2002 hit-and-run case. Salman Khan can now face a jail sentence for 10 years under this charge.
On Thursday, the magistrate court in Bandra accepted the plea of the prosecution to enhance charges against the actor in the 11-year-old case.
On September 28, 2002, allegedly drunk Salman Khan rammed his SUV into a bakery on Hill Road, Bandra, in the early hours of the morning, killing one and injuring four persons asleep on the pavement outside.
The actor was earlier Section 304-A, causing death by negligence. But the charges have now been changed to Section 304-II, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, after the court decided that enough evidence has been provided by the police to charge the actor for culpable homicide.
“There is enough evidence to show that the act was not incidental and hence the case should be tried under a more serious section," Magistrate Vasant Patil said in his order.
The actor has been ordered to appear on February 11.
Salman Khan’s lawyer said that they would challenge this decision at High Court.
“Earlier 304-A was applied in the same matter. There is no change in circumstances and the evidence is still not complete. We will challenge the decision in the high court,” Dipesh Mehta told TOI.
But Kaushal Thakkar, another of Khan's lawyers, said that the court had stated that there was enough evidence to show that the act was not incidental and hence the case should be tried under a more serious section.
Other than culpable homicide, the actor has also been charged under IPC sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing minor injuries), 338 (causing major injuries) and 427 (negligence). He also faces charges under the Motor Vehicles Act and other laws.
The trial for this case began way back in 2006.