news Friday, May 08, 2015 - 05:30
In a major relief to actor Salman Khan, the Bombay High Court on Friday morning suspended the actor's sentence pending appeal. This means the actor need not serve his jail term till his appeal is disposed off by the High Court. The HC has directed Salman Khan to file a fresh bail bond. Judge Thipsay said in court that giving bail to Salman was not out of turn as sentences of seven years or less do get suspended. The Bombay High Court is    During the bail hearing, the actor's lawyer Amit Desai questioned why charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder had been used against the actor. He also contested that the prosecution did not question the fourth witness,   Desai also questioned why the prosecution had ignored the statement of Salman Khan's cousin, Kamal Khan, who also was in the car on the night of the hit-and-run.   After hearing Desai's arguments, Judge Thipsay asked when charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder were applied and why Kamal Khan had not been cross-examined.   The Bombay High Court was hearing two petitions filed by Salman Khan’s lawyers – one seeking suspension of his sentence and another seeking bail. On Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge DW Deshpande had convicted Khan and had sentenced him to five years in jail.   Deshpande had accepted the prosecution’s argument that it was “improbable” Khan's driver Ashok Singh was behind the wheel. He also said that it was proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that Khan was driving the car and was also inebriated.   Following the conviction, Khan was granted interim bail for two days after an appeal was filed by his lawyer Harish Salve on Wednesday. Chief Public Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde is expected to object to the suspension of Khan’s sentence, before HC judge Justice Abhai Thipsay.   He will be represented by senior counsellor Amit Desai in the absence of senior advocate Harish Salve. Speaking to the media outside the HC, Senior advocate Abha Singh said that there was a “fair chance of suspension of (Khan’s) sentence”.    Since Tuesday evening, the media, especially TV channels, had been building up a crescendo about the details of the trial, heavily interspersed with speculation about what was likely to happen.    It has been more than 12 years since Khan’s car ran over pavement-dwellers killing Nurullah Sharif on September 28, 2002 and injuring Munna Malai Khan, Kalim Mohammed Pathan, Abdullah Rauf Shaikh and Muslim Sheikh.   Defence Witness Ashok Singh   The only defence witness in the case, Ashok Singh had told the court in March 2015 that he was driving when the incident took place and that the tyre of the vehicle had burst, causing him to lose control. Singh told the court that he had narrated the entire incident to the police but was asked to wait at the station. Singh has also said that he suspected foul play and told Khan about it.   In April, however, Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat challenged the defence’s argument, saying that Singh could be held liable for perjury for lying to the court for 12 years.   He said, “He had been thinking for 12 years and did not go to an advocate to understand? Is this natural conduct?” Gharat also called Singh a "self-condemned liar".   Gharat also pointed out that Singh had been employed by Salim Khan, Khan’s father, since 1990, and said that it implausible that the family continued to employ him even when Khan continued to faced trial for so many years.   “Can it be believed that the very driver who worked with the family sat with his mouth shut even as Salman Khan kept facing trouble? Can it be accepted that the accused also kept silent and did not ask the driver to come forward?” Gharat asked.   - See more here  
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