Mumbai: In a major setback to Bollywood actor Salman Khan, a Mumbai sessions court on Monday rejected his plea in the 2002 hit-and-run case and said that the actor will be tried for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the case.

Khan had appealed against the magistrate's order directing a retrial of the case under the stringent charge.

The fresh charge, under Section 304 (III) of the Indian Penal Code, would attract a maximum jail term of 10 years.

The arguments in the case concluded in early May, and Khan's lawyer Ashok Mundargi had contended that the lower court's order was "erroneous, bad in law and contrary to evidence on record".

Earlier, Khan had been tried under the less severe Section 304A of IPC, relating to causing death by negligence, which stipulates a maximum two years in jail.

However, the metropolitan magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses in the case, had invoked the more serious charge under Section 304 (III) of the IPC against Khan.

Public prosecutor S. Erande had said that its witness, police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who has since died, had repeatedly warned Khan not to drive rashly, but the actor allegedly did not heed him.

Erande further submitted that Khan was drunk at the time of the incident in which one person was killed and four others injured.

Khan's SUV ran over pavement dwellers in suburban Bandra in the early hours of Sep 28, 2002.


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