Court to hear Salman’s hit-and-run case from Mar 25

The Sessions court has fixed the hearing of 2002 hit-and-run case against Bollywood actor Salman Khan on March 25, when he would have to remain present before the court. Along with the prosecution’s case against Salman, the court would also hear his appeal against the Magistrate’s order, invoking the charge of `culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ against him which attracts a punishment upto ten years in prison.

Sessions Judge U B Hejib has scheduled the hearing for March 25, and Salman had been asked to be present on that day.

It would be 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).

The Magistrate had asked Salman to appear before the Sessions court on March 11, but he did not go to the court that day as the case was yet to be assigned to any judge.

Sources said as there would be a fresh trial.Evidence produced before the Magistrate’s court would not be considered, according to them.

One person was killed and four injured when a Land Cruiser, allegedly driven by Salman, ran over the people sleeping on pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra in the wee hours of September 28, 2002.

On March 8, advocate Ashok Mundargi, Salman’s lawyer, had urged the Sessions court to hear the main case against the actor and his appeal against Magistrate’s order invoking the charge of `culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ (section 304 part II of IPC) simultaneously.



Supreme Court upholds army commanding officers’ power to sack

The Supreme Court said, “There is no legal infirmity if an army personnel is dismissed in summary court martial proceedings conducted by a commanding officer who also issues the charge sheet against him.”

The apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice Anil R. Dave in a recent judgment said, “There is no violation of the principle of natural justice. No illegality has been committed in convening the summary court martial by the commanding officer nor there is any illegality in the conduct of summary court martial.”

The court also told that this while addressing the challenge about the competence of the an accused army man’s commanding officer, who signed and issued the charge sheet, to convene and conduct the summary court martial proceedings.

The question arose during the hearing on the central government’s appeal challenging the two concurring judgments of the Gauhati High Court Sep 7, 2006, and Aug 28, 2008, setting aside the dismissal of washerman/rifleman Dinesh Prasad.

The high court held that the disciplinary proceedings were vitiated by the likelihood of bias and suffered from the breach of the principle of natural justice because the commanding officer who had issued the charge sheet also presided over the summary court martial which dismissed Prasad.

Referring to the Army Rules dealing with court martial proceedings, the apex court said the commanding officer of the accused or of the corps to which the accused belonged was not qualified for serving on general court martial or district court martial, two different types of court martial proceedings.

According to the judgement “There is neither any impediment nor embargo in the Army Act or the Army Rules for an officer who convened the summary general courts martial or summary courts martial or the commanding officer of the accused or of the corps to which the accused belongs to serve on such court”

“Section 116 of the Army Act rather provides that a summary court martial may be held by the commanding officer of any corps, department or detachment of the regular army and he shall alone constitute the court (summary court-martial)”

Prasad, who belonged to 11 Assam Rifle, went on unauthorized leave for 808 days from July 26, 1998, to Oct 11, 2000.

Col. A.S. Sehrawat Aug 3, 2001, served him a charge sheet to explain his absence without leave and constituted a summary court martial where Prasad admitted his guilt Oct 4, 2001.

Before being dismissed, Prasad sought to explain his unauthorised absence on the grounds of his poor mental health.

Setting aside the concurrent judgments of the high court, the apex court said that absence without leave was an offence under the Army Act. On conviction by the court martial of the said offence, the offender was liable to suffer imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years.

Ex-Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur gets bail

By the Punjab and Haryana High court Former Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur has got  granted bail  about seven months after her conviction in a case for conspiring in forcible abduction, kidnapping and wrongful confinement in connection with the killing of her daughter.

Handing down the orders, a division bench of the court comprising Justice AK Mittal and Justice GS Sandhawalia directed Kaur to seek the court’s permission before going abroad, Kaur’s counsel RS Cheema said.

Kaur, a former president of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), was awarded five years imprisonment and also fined Rs 5,000 by the special CBI court of Patiala in March this year.

A day after her conviction she resigned as minister. She is presently lodged in Kapurthala jail.

In this case, three others Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi, Paramjit Singh Raipur and Nishan Singh were also convicted by the Patiala court under section 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy). The three were fined Rs 5,000 each.

Another accused Satya Devi was acquitted of all charges while another accused Sanjiv Kumar died during the trial. Harpreet had died under mysterious circumstanced during the intervening night of April 20 and 21, 2000 en route from Phagwara to Ludhiana’s Christian Medical College and Hospital.

Citing that there was “no foul play” and Harpreet Kaur’s death was natural due to fever, vomiting and severe dehydration, her post-mortem was not conducted and she was cremated in a hurried manner on April 21 at the Bibi’s home village Begowal (Kapurthala) 12 years ago.

A few days after Harpreet’s death, Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Begowal claimed that he was her husband and father of Harpreet’s stillborn child. On April 27, 2000, Kamaljit approached the Punjab and Haryana high court. On June 9, 2000, the HC directed the CBI to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

However, the CBI court had acquitted Kaur and other accused Dhesi, Raipur and Sub Inspector Nishan Singh of charge under 302 IPC (murder).