A magistrate's court in Mumbai today ordered an enquiry into allegations of deliberate delay in actor Salman Khan's trial in the hit-and-run case dating from 2002. In their reply filed in court today, Mumbai police denied having delayed the case. The court has set the next date of hearing for March 5.
Salman Khan was granted an exemption from appearing in court personally.
Salman was also exempted from appearing at the last hearing held on December 27, 2012, which happened to be his 47th birthday. His sisters Alvira and Arpita, and lawyer Dipesh Mehta appeared in a Mumbai court to file a petition that sought an exemption on his behalf, which was granted.
Petitioner Abha Singh said in court on December 27, "He (Salman) is making movies and earning money but not coming to court."
Ten years ago, the actor's SUV had run into a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one and injuring four persons who were sleeping on the pavement outside.
Earlier last December, lawyer-activist Abha Singh filed a petition alleging that the actor was delaying the trial. Salman was then summoned by a Bandra magistrate's court.
Ms Singh also said in court that Mumbai police had taken 24 days to serve the court summons to the actor, claiming that he had not been in the city.
Salman was originally accused of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. But the Bombay High Court then reduced the charges to rash and negligent driving.
The police has appealed for the stricter charges to be accepted - its petition is pending in court.
The trial in the case started in 2005 and the prosecution has examined eleven witnesses so far. Two witnesses have turned hostile.
(With PTI inputs)