MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today directed its Registry to prepare afresh the paper-book -- compilation of documentary evidence -- of the 2002 hit-and-run case involving conviction of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, by September7.
The High Court observed that the paper-book was not properly made as per rules. The ruling is considered significant as it comes in the midst of hearing of an appeal filed by the 49-year-old actor against the 5-year sentence awarded to him in the case by the trial court.
Paper-book is compilation of evidence, documents, prepared by the court Registry and submitted to both the sides before an appeal against conviction is heard. The HC is hearing an appeal filed by Salman against a sessions court's verdict which on May 6 found him guilty of running his car over people sleeping on footpath in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, killing one and person injuring four.
On an application filed by Salman's lawyer Amit Desai alleging that some documents were missing from the paper-book, Justice A R Joshi ruled that it must be prepared afresh and if need be assistance may be taken from the Judge who had conducted the trial.
"The paper-book needs to be prepared afresh in keeping with the High Court manual," said the Jugde as he posted the hearing to September 7 when the High Court will inspect the documents prepared afresh. The Judge said that documents which the defence had pointed out as "missing" should be included in the paper-book while those not relevant to the case and found therein may be removed.
Salman's counsel said the judgement of the trial court needs to be set aside. "This is the paper book and the main thing in the judgement...and this has been prepared in this fashion...the judgement needs to be set aside," he said. "If this is the state of affairs and on this kind of material my client has been convicted for a five-year jail term, then the judgement needs to be set aside," Desai argued.