Bollywood star Salman Khan gets a breather as court defers his case hearing to April 8.
Giving some relief to Salman Khan, a Mumbai court on Monday deferred hearing in a 2002 hit-and-run-case till April 8 as it also agreed to the actor's plea to hear his appeal before the trial begins.
The actor was expected to appear in person before the court, but he did not.
He was in town and had returned from the USA after treatment on Sunday morning according to his father Salim Khan. His lawyers apparently wanted more time to file some documents.
The actor now faces serious charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder' which attracts a punishment up to ten years in prison.
One person was killed and four injured when a Toyota Land Cruiser, allegedly driven by Salman, ran over people sleeping on pavement in suburban Bandra area in the wee hours on September 28, 2002.
It was Salman's first appearance before the Sessions court after Bandra Magistrate's court referred the case to the Sessions Court (because the offence he is now charged with is serious).
Of all the public appearances that are lined up on Salman's busy schedule of commitments, Bollywood superstar and accused in a 2002 hit-and-run case Salman Khan has been let off from the kind that is least expected – those that require his presence at the court of law.
Judgement Day: Father requests fans to pray for Salman Khan
Just days after India’s Supreme Court verdict on actor Sanjay Dutt in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case left the star facing five years in jail, Indian media is now reporting that fresh charges have been filed against Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan and three other actors in a 14-year-old case of poaching a blackbuck during a film shooting in Rajasthan.
But that's not the only sword hanging over Salman. The actor will appear before a Session's court in Mumbai on March 25 for the hearing of his 2002 hit-and-run case.
Salman has been evading from court appearances showing health reasons, but this time he will have to remain present before the court.
There's also speculation that the Sanjay Dutt verdict may loom large over the judgment in Salman's case.
But an optimistic father, without divulging any legal details asked his fans to remain hopeful.
In a telephonic conversation Salim Khan told Emirates24|7: "All I can say is please pray for him, I request all his fans to pray".
The court will hear Salman's appeal to invoke the charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder' which attracts a punishment upto ten years in prison.
The 47-year-old was earlier charged for rash and negligent driving which attracts two years of imprisonment.
Along with the prosecution's case, Salman he will now try to squash the hit-and-run case on March 25.
The charges in hit-and-run, if proved, can attract a maximum punishment of 10 years in jai.
It is alleged that Salman Khan while driving his Toyota Land Cruiser, rammed into a bakery in suburban Bandra killing one person and injuring four others who were sleeping on a pavement on September 28, 2002.
The fear in Salman's family members and friends is obvious after the Sanjay Dutt verdict going against the star. Will it affect Salman's verdict as well?
There is an extraordinary outpouring of support for Sanjay Dutt after his recent sentencing. It is only understandable that Bollywood rallies together for one of its own. And why not, as many of its members are fighting court cases or embroiled with criminal charges. If they hurdle together to bend the law of the land for one, same can be done for the others. One after another all of them can be immune from the law.
Even as the clamour of relief for Sanjay Dutt increases it all seems buffoonery as people question the supreme justice system of the country.
If Salman is tried and found guilty, he’ll no doubt appeal to the higher court and like Dutt the case will drag on for another decade. By that calculation we might hear the final judgment by 2023, i.e. if by then people do not turn the judiciary system inconsequential and inane.