Retrial of the hit and run case, which was scheduled to start on March 26, got adjourned to April 8 as three witnesses failed to appear in court.The first three witnesses were slated to be examined by the prosecution. One of them is the owner of a laundry in suburban Bandra, where the actor allegedly had run over his vehicle on people sleeping on the footpath, while the other two are panch witnesses.
Prosecutor Jagannath Kenjalkar told the court that the laundry owner could not appear as he had been paralysed. One of the panch witnesses was not traceable, while the other had gone to Bangalore.
Salman Khan will not be available to be present at court on April 8
Salman is facing the charge of running over his Toyota Land Cruiser on a group of persons sleeping on a footpath outside a bakery in suburban Bandra on Sept 28, 2002, killing one and injuring four others.
On Dec 5, 2013, the court had ordered a fresh trial on the ground that the witnesses had not been examined in the context of aggravated charge of culpable homicide, which was invoked against the actor midway through the proceedings.
The charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder attracts a 10-year sentence. The actor had earlier been tried by a magistrate for a lesser offence of causing death by negligence, which entailed an imprisonment of two years.
The case, dragging on for over a decade, had taken a twist earlier this year when the magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses, held that the charge of culpable homicide was made out against Salman and referred the matter to a sessions court, as cases under this offence are tried by a higher court.
(With agency inputs)