Mumbai: Spelling more trouble for Bollywood actor Salman Khan, a Mumbai court Thursday directed that he should be tried for a more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and not death by negligence in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
The provision – section 304 of the Indian Penal Code – attracts a maximum jail sentence of 10 years. The Bandra magistrate also committed the case to the sessions court for trial.
Presently, Salman, 47, is being tried under section 304 A – causing death by negligence, which attracts maximum jail term of two years.
In view of the graver charges against him, the actor would be required to appear before the sessions court where the trial is expected to start Feb 11.
On the night of Sep 28, 2002, Khan’s Toyota Land Crusier, allegedly driven by him, rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one pavement dweller sleeping outside and injuring four others.
The trial in the case started before the Bandra Magistrate Court in 2006.
The actor is planning to challenge the development in the Bombay High Court, according to sources close to Salman.
At present, Salman, 47, is being tried under section 304 (I), (rash and negligent driving) which attracts maximum punishment of two years.
Section 304 (II) attracts the maximum sentence of ten years.
Following Thursday’s order, the magistrate committed the case to sessions court for trial, as the offence is serious.
“Salman would have to appear before the sessions court on February 11,” said his lawyer, advocate Dipesh Mehta.
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 the case and that the actor be tried under Section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (rash and negligent driving) and other relevant sections.
The court had framed charges against the actor under section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (rash and negligent driving), 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing minor injuries), 338 (causing major injuries) and 427 (negligence).
Earlier this year, the police had again sought that the actor be tried under more serious charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’.