HC declines to suspend hearing of Salman’s appeal

Mumba: The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected a murder convict’s appeal to put on hold the hearing on Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s plea against the five-year jail term he has been sentenced to in the 2002 accident case.

The intervention appeal, filed by a murder convict, whose plea has not been heard since 2009, contended that matters concerning celebrities were heard out-of-turn, while other convicts like him were kept pending for long and continued to languish in prisons.

He has also filed a separation petition in the Bombay High Court making similar allegations and prayed that his own appeal must be heard expeditiously.

Justice A.R. Joshi, however, declined to accept the appeal as both the sides in the actor’s case have agreed for an expeditious hearing in the matter.

Besides, in the intervenor’s petition, the high court has not passed any judicial orders.

Seeking suspension of Salman’s appeal, the intervenor’s counsel Aparna Vatkar said it should not be heard until the separate petition filed by her client before another bench is decided by the high court.

Salman’s lawyer Amit Desai, meanwhile, demanded a CD of the trial court proceedings to enable them argue the appeal in the high court more effectively.

Public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde and Pradeep Gharat said this could not be done as no such CD of the trial court proceedings is available.

The matter will now come up for further hearing on July 27.

Salman, 49, was convicted by the sessions court on May 6 on various charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and sentenced to five years in jail.

He moved the Bombay High Court challenging the conviction and is at present on bail.

One pavement dweller was killed and four others were injured when Salman’s Toyota Land Cruiser SUV ran over them as they were sleeping outside a bakery in suburban Bandra early September 28, 2002.