The Bombay High Court on Monday directed its registry to submit by 20 July the translation of copies of documents sought by Bollywood actor Salman Khan in connection with his appeal against the five-year sentence awarded to him by a sessions court in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
Some documents in the case are in vernacular language and the actor’s lawyer Amit Desai had urged for an English translation of these copies so that the appeal could be heard. Salman’s lawyer also filed an application giving a list of ‘missing’ documents in the case.
He said if the ‘missing’ documents were not required by the court then he would not press for it, but if they were necessary for hearing the appeal, the authorities may be directed to supply the same. Justice A R Joshi directed Public Prosecutor S S Shinde and the investigating officer in the case to scrutinise the list given by Salman and ascertain if some documents were missing in the ‘paper book.’
If they find some papers are missing, they have been asked to provide these documents before 20 July, when the matter has been posted for further hearing. Salman’s lawyer sought adjournment of the hearing till 27 July as the actor’s legal team would be busy in a Jodhpur court in connection with another case involving the actor, on 20 July.
However, the HC did not grant a longer date as sought by the actor’s lawyer and deferred the matter by a week. The 49-year-old actor did not come to the court on Monday as he is on bail. His sister, Alvira, who normally comes for every hearing, was also not present. Salman was convicted by a sessions court on 6 May and sentenced to five years imprisonment on various counts, including ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’.
A man was killed and four others were injured when the actor’s Toyota Land Cruiser ran over them while they were asleep on a pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002. The HC had on 8 May stayed the execution of the 5-year sentence awarded to Salman in the 13-year-old case and granted him bail while admitting his appeal.
Salman has challenged the findings of the trial court that he was drunk and was driving under the influence of liquor. The actor pleaded that the trial court had wrongly convicted him under the culpable homicide charge because he had no knowledge that he would meet with an accident.
In the appeal, he has argued that the trial court had failed to appreciate the fact that four prosecution witnesses, including the investigating officer, had said that there were four persons present in the Toyota Land Cruiser when the accident occurred and that it was the family driver Ashok Singh who was at the wheels.
Public Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde, though not opposing admission of appeal, had earlier objected to suspension of the sentence and argued that the actor had knowledge of consequences of rash and negligent and drunken driving. Therefore, he had said, the trial court had rightly convicted him under the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Shinde has said the blood test of Salman revealed there was alcohol content above the permissible limit. Apart from being convicted of culpable homicide, Salman was also found guilty of offences under section 279 of IPC (rash and negligent driving) and sections 337 and 338 of IPC (causing hurt by acts endangering life or personal property of others), which prescribe six months’ jail. He was sentenced to undergo jail for six months under sections 181 (driving without licence) and 185 (drink driving) of Motor Vehicles Act.
Salman was also found guilty under the Bombay Prohibition Act’s section 66 (a) and (b) for which he received two months’ imprisonment and fine of Rs 500. All sentences will run concurrently.