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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 September, 2003, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Bollywood homicide charge dropped
By Zubair Ahmed
BBC correspondent in Bombay

Bollywood star Salman Khan will not face trial on homicide charges that were issued against him after a car he was allegedly driving killed one person and injured four others.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan is no stranger to controversy

A high court in Bombay ruled on Wednesday that culpable homicide charges against the actor should be dropped.

The judgment will come as a relief for the actor, who has been trying to rebuild his film career.

However, Mr Khan will still have to stand trial for a series of lesser charges pertaining to the incident in September 2002, when the star's Toyota Landcruiser crashed into a Bombay bakery at high speed in the early hours of the morning.

One person who had been sleeping on the pavement outside the bakery was killed and four others were injured.

Mr Khan was arrested a day later, amid allegations that he had been driving while heavily drunk.

'Bad-boy' reputation

The actor's lawyer, Dipesh Mehta, told the BBC that the charge of culpable homicide was unjustified as no-one drives with the intention to kill.

He said the lesser charges against Khan were not serious and would be heard in a minor court. The highest punishment he is likely to receive, if found guilty, is a fine or a reprimand.

The next hearing is scheduled for 10 September.

The Indian press has often characterised Mr Khan as a 'bad-boy' heart-throb.

He was arrested by police in 1998 for supposedly shooting a protected species of deer on a hunt, and he has been accused of mistreatment by his ex-girlfriend, actress Aishwarya Rai.

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