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Culpable homicide charge: Maharashtra govt moves SC against Salman

October 19, 2003 19:46 IST

The Maharashtra government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging an order of the Mumbai high court, which dropped the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder framed against actor Salman Khan for allegedly killing one person and injuring four in a hit-and-run case.

The petition, filed on October 16, will come up for hearing after October 27 when the apex court reopens after a vacation, official sources told PTI in Mumbai on Sunday.

In view of this development, the ongoing trial in a Mumbai magistrate's court may not commence on October 21 and is likely to be adjourned until the Supreme Court decides whether the offence allegedly committed by the actor fell within the scope of section 304 (2) IPC, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which attracts a 10-year jail term.

On October 6, a magistrate framed charges against the actor under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Motor Vehicles Act and Bombay Prohibition Act. The actor has pleaded not guilty.

Magistrate S Y Sishode rejected the state's plea for staying the process of framing charges to allow it to appeal in the Supreme Court against dropping the charge of culpable homicide. Sishode said the state was free to move the apex court even after framing charges.

The petition said Salman should be booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder as he had knowledge that his act of rash and negligent driving might result in death of persons. Moreover, it alleged he was driving after consuming alcohol and the vehicle involved in the mishap did not belong to him. He also did not possess driving licence.

The actor was initially booked for rash and negligent driving. It was after a public outcry that the state government booked him with the more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Hearing a PIL, the Bombay high court had told him to pay Rs 19 lakh as compensation to the victims. The actor complied with the directive.

Well-known criminal lawyer Dipesh Mehta is representing the actor in the case.


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