Actor Salman Khan on Monday pleaded for a fresh trial before a sessions court in the hit-and-run case, saying the evidence presented earlier before a magistrate be discarded, as he was now facing a more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade argued that the actor had not been given an opportunity in the magistrate's court to cross-examine witnesses vis-a-vis the additional charge of culpable homicide which was imposed on him recently.
The prosecution opposed Salman's plea, claiming, "This is an attempt to delay the trial."
The magistrate had adduced evidence on the basis of the deposition given by the witnesses. Hence, this evidence cannot be discarded, the public prosecutor argued.
Salman's lawyer pleaded that earlier, it was a summary trial by the magistrate. However, as culpable homicide charge had been framed against the actor, the case would be tried by a sessions court.
"We should not be prejudiced because of want of cross examination of witnesses. Hence, a fresh trial may be conducted," he said.
Judge D W Deshpande reserved his order on Salman's plea for a fresh trial till December 5.
A sessions court had on July 24 framed charges against Salman for culpable homicide, for which he may face a jail term up to 10 years. Earlier, he was tried by a magistrate for rash and negligent driving, which prescribes a two-year jail term.
Ten years after the accident in which Salman was found involved, the Bandra magistrate, mid-way during the trial, held that culpable homicide charge was made out against the actor and hence referred the case to a higher court for trial as this offence cannot be tried only by the sessions court.
Apart from section 304(2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), the superstar has also been charged under sections 279 (causing death by negligence), 337 (causing hurt by an act), 338 (causing grievous hurt), 427 (causing damage or mischief to property) of IPC, and provisions of Motor Vehicles Act and Bombay Prohibition Act.
One person was killed and four others were injured when the Land Cruiser, allegedly driven by Salman Khan, crushed a group of people sleeping on the pavement outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002.