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10 charges, trial on October 21

Mumbai, Oct. 6: A local court today framed 10 charges against Salman Khan in the hit-and-run case, to all of which the actor pleaded not guilty.

A year after a man sleeping on a pavement was crushed under the wheels of his car, Salman was charged under the Indian Penal Code under Sections 304A (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt), 338 (causing grievous injury) and 427 (causing damage by mischief).

He was also charged under Sections 130(1), 134(a and b), 177 and 181(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act. The court further charged him under Section 66(1b) of the Bombay Prohibition Act that prohibits driving after drinking liquor.

The maximum punishment under any of these sections is two years. The trial will begin on October 21.

The prosecution wanted to defer the case and wanted the charges to be framed later so that it could appeal to the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order that dropped charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Salman’s lawyer Dipesh Mehta opposed the plea, saying it could cause delay as the actor was ready for trial. The local court then rejected the prosecution’s plea, saying they should have appealed earlier.

Magistrate S.Y. Sishode framed the charges after these were read out to the actor by prosecutor R.S. Khandekar. The case was shifted to the magistrate’s court from a sessions court after the high court dropped the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Conviction under that charge attracts a maximum punishment of 10 years’ imprisonment. The charge can be tried only by a sessions court, which had earlier held Salman prima facie guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. It had also rejected his plea to drop the charge as the judge felt the actor was aware that rash and negligent driving could kill people.

Salman later appealed to the high court, which dropped the charge and said the actor had no knowledge that driving in a rash and negligent manner could cause death.

Salman was arrested on September 28 last year after he rammed his car into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one and injuring four. He was later released on bail.

Immediately after the incident, police had booked Salman for rash and negligent driving. He was booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder only after public outrage.

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