Actor Salman Khan was aware that his act of rash driving would result in
death or injuries to people, a magistrate observed while charging him
with a more serious offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder
in a decade-old hit-and-run case.
A copy of the order was made
available today. Salman's lawyer Dipesh Mehta said that the actor would
challenge the order in the Bombay High Court soon. The actor's lawyers
say he was not driving his SUV in September when it crashed into a local
bakery, killing one person and injuring four others sleeping on the
The 47-year-old was earlier charged under IPC Section
304 A (rash and negligent driving) which attracts two years' punishment
and is tried by a Magistrate. Now he has been charged under IPC Section
304 part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), for which
maximum jail term is 10 years.
In his order last week, Additional
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate V S Patil said Salman was warned by his
police bodyguard Ravindra Patil not to drive at a speed of 90 to 100 km
per hour as there was a turning ahead.
Mr Khan's lawyers have
argued, "The alleged incident had taken place at mid-night, when it was
extremely dark and many people had gathered at the scene of the
accident. Therefore, prima-facie it is amply clear that there was
absence of any motive or intention to kill someone. The act as alleged
is not an act of culpable homicide, but an unfortunate incident, beyond
control of accused, such as an act of God."