Salman hit-and-run case: Court to pronounce verdict tomorrow

Mumbai, A sessions court is all set to deliver its verdict tomorrow in the hit-and-run case involving Bollywood actor Salman Khan, who is charged with killing one person and injuring four by ramming his SUV into a bakery shop in suburban Bandra 13 years ago.
Police have geared up to provide tight security in the court to restrain the actor’s fans from entering the premises with a view to avoiding overcrowding, sessions court sources said. Only mediapersons, lawyers and the court staff would be allowed inside the court, the sources said.
Judge D W Deshpande had declared last month that he would pronounce the verdict on May 6. He also summoned the actor to remain present in the court at 11.15 AM on the day. The prosecution and defence concluded arguments on April 21 in the trial which was conducted afresh after a Magistrate added the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and referred the case to the sessions court.
The culpable homicide offence, which provides for punishment upto 10 years, is triable by a sessions court and not by a magistrate. Earlier, the magistrate was trying Khan for rash and negligent driving, an offence under IPC which attracts punishment upto two years.
Khan, 49, pleaded he was not driving the car at the time of mishap and that his driver Ashok Singh was behind the wheel. This has been corroborated by Singh who appeared as defence witness. However, prosecution led by Pradeep Gharat alleged that Khan was driving after consuming ‘Bacardi Rum’ in a bar. The actor, on the other hand, argued he was having a glass of water and not alcohol. While prosecution pleaded that there were three persons in the car — Salman, his police bodyguard Ravindra Patil and singer friend Kamal Khan, the actor argued that there was a fourth person and he was Ashok Singh. (Source-

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