Enquiry in Salman's hit-and-run trial

Mumbai magistrate court ordered an enquiry into allegations of deliberate delay in Salman Khan's trial in the hit-and-run case dating since 2002. In their reply, the police today filed an affidavit in the court denying the allegation that they had deliberately delayed the trial in order to favour him. A magistrate was hearing a complaint filed by activist Santosh Daundkar alleging that the trial was delayed because police had, in connivance with Salman, produced a wrong set of witnesses, as a result of which the proceedings were hampered. The complainant had alleged this was done to benefit the actor who delivered several hits and made pecuniary gains. He said in court on December 27, "He (Salman) is making movies and earning money but not coming to court." In response his lawyer Dipesh Mehta said “Salman was granted an exemption from appearing in court personally. He was also exempted from appearing at the last hearing held on December 27, 2012, which happened to be his 47th birthday. His sisters Alvira and Arpita, appeared in a Mumbai court to file a petition that sought an exemption on his behalf, which was granted”. Ten years ago, the actor's SUV had run into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one and injuring four persons who were sleeping on the pavement outside. Salman was originally accused of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. But the Bombay High Court then reduced the charges to rash and negligent driving. The trial in the case started in 2005 and the prosecution has examined eleven witnesses so far. Two witnesses have turned hostile. Earlier, Salman had pleaded that he was not at all responsible for delaying the trial and sought dismissal of the complaint. His lawyer argued the Bombay High Court had granted him permanent exemption from appearance on June 10, 2005, and hence the actor had not appeared in the trial. Petitioner Santosh Daundkar had also argued the complaint filed against Salman was not maintainable under Cr Pc and the complainant had no locus stand in the matter. The actor had further pleaded that the complainant had falsely alleged that the trial was delayed because he had sought exemption from appearance.

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