Salman ‘hit and run’ case trial to restart Sep 24

Mumbai : Following the production of the “missing” case papers in the Salman Khan hit-and-run case, the trial against the actor will resume before the sessions court here from Sep 24.

The prosecution Friday informed the court that all the original documents – barring one – pertaining to witness statements and case diaries “missing” since the past few months have been found.

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Producing the 63 documents, the prosecution also assured Sessions Judge D. W. Deshpande that the single missing document would also be traced out soon.

The prosecution had informed the court of the missing documents first in July following which the case was adjourned till August.

In August, the prosecution again expressed helplessness by saying that the documents and case diaries could not be traced.

After reprimanding the prosecution, the judge ordered police to trace all the missing papers at the earliest date to enable the trial to recommence.

Khan’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade had contended that the trial could not be continued without the original documents, while the prosecution countered by saying that it could proceed with true copies which were available.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria ordered a probe and finally the missing documents were recovered from the Bandra Police Station Aug 26.

When newly-appointed public prosecution Pradeep Gharat produced the documents before the court, Judge Deshpande took them on record and directed him to proceed with the examination of witnesses from Sep 24.

Till date, 11 witnesses have already deposed in the case before the instance of missing documents came to the fore.

On Dec 5 last year, the sessions court had ordered a fresh trial on grounds that the witnesses had not been examined in the context of the enhanced charge of “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” slapped on the actor by a magistrate court.

The magistrate had earlier tried him on the less serious offence of causing “death by negligence” which attracts a two year jail term, but midway during the trial, the charge of “culpable homicide not amounting to murder”, which carried a 10-year sentence, was added.

The ruling by the lower court came after examining 17 witnesses and the matter was transferred to the sessions court.

Salman Khan’s car had allegedly mowed down five pavement dwellers, killing one and injuring four others outside a baker in suburban Bandra, on Sep 28, 2002.