Court rejects Salman Khan’s adjournment plea

On Wednesday, a sessions court rejected Salman Khan’s plea that sought a three weeks adjournment in the 2002 hit-and-run case. The plea filed by Shrikant Shivade, Salman’s lawyer, was opposed by the public prosecutor Pradip Gharat. Seeking the adjournment, Shivade had stated before the court that “Salman’s presence was required in the criminal trial in Jodhpur”. Pradeep Gharat opposed the plea, explaining that priority should be given to hit-and-run case because it is conducted on a daily basis. He further said that the Mumbai court had fixed the programme of hit-and-run before Jodhpur court had finalized their schedules.

Moreover, the cross-examination of the investigating officer Kishan Shengal has been completed. The prosecution has declared that the 13-year-old case has been closed. Shrikant Shivade had filed a plea for re-examination of another investigating officer Rajendra Kadam involved in the case. The application sought the recall of the first investigating officer. Salman’s plea stated that he wanted to conduct cross-examination of the police officer. The cross-examination would be pertaining to the omissions and also the contradictions that had been made by Ravindra Patil- the dead police constable. Patil is the complainant in this case. But this plea too, was rejected by the court.

Judge D W Deshpande heard both sides and ordered the actor to be present in court on Friday, 27th March. The judge will be recording Salman’s statement under the Section 313 of Criminal Procedure Code. He would get a chance to give explanations for the charges against him. He would be answering questions regarding the evidence and the several aspects of the trial. Salman would be putting up his own defense to whatever evidence that the prosecution has presented before the court. The actor would get the opportunity to explain his side of the situation and his statements would be recorded. Till now, evidence has been collected from about 25 witnesses in this case.

Salman was arrested soon after the hit-and-run incident of 2002. He faced charges of culpable homicide, which were later dropped. The case was tried in magistrate’s court, accusing Salman of rash driving and he faced the danger of jail sentence of two years. It was on 24th July 2013 that he faced formal charges of culpable homicide. Fresh trial that was ordered post the increased accusation of culpable homicide that does not amount to murder. Salman is now threatened by a much longer prison sentence of 10 years.