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    Southern actress Ileana D'Cruz, who set her Bollywood career in pace starting with the much-acclaimed and awarded "Barfi!", says she came to the Hindi film industry with "no expectations".

    "I have actually walked into Bollywood with no expectations whatsoever. I did not expect to be appreciated for my work in 'Barfi!', but when people did, it was very touching and humbling for me," the actress said here at the launch of a shampoo brand here Friday.

    Ileana, who shared screen space with Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in "Barfi!", is currently shooting for "Phata Poster Nikla Hero" along with Shahid Kapoor.

    "I am just taking it as it goes. I am hoping for better stuff to come my way," she said.

    Nevertheless, she is satisfied.

    "I am very happy with the projects I have got on hand and I like the way my career is going so far," said Ileana, who forayed into filmdom with Telugu film "Devadasu" in 2006.

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    There's romance in every moment spent with her beau, actor Kunal Kemmu, says actress Soha Ali Khan, who has been dating him since almost three years.

    "Every trip, every moment of everyday is romantic with Kunal," Soha said here at the Lonely Planet Awards held here Friday.

    Soha was accompanied by Kunal at the event, and the duo couldn't escape questions about their wedding plans. However, they said they want to focus on their respective careers as of now.

    Kunal, who was was recently seen in zombie comedy "Go Goa Gone", will next be seen "Bhaag Johnny", while Soha is currently busy with her upcoming film "War Chod Na Yaar", a war comedy.

    Any plans of working in a movie together again after the 2009 film "99"?

    "Not right now. We have not come across with a script that both of have liked, but surely soon," said Kunal.

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    Small screen stars Pratyusha Banerjee, Gurmeet Choudhary and Shabbir Ahluwalia will appear on a special episode of “Masterchef - Kitchen Ke Superstar” to support their favourite contestant.

    The show has reached its finale week.

    The top three contestants - Ripudaman Handa, Doyal Sarangi and Navneet Rastogi - are ready for their final league, and the challenges now put before them will be much tougher compared to previous ones.

    The three actors visited the set of the show to cheer and support the contestants in their last challenge before the finale.

    Shabbir came in support for Navneet, Gurmeet gave a strong hand to Ripudaman and Pratyusha stood by Doyal’s side.

    “I am very grateful to Gurmeet for supporting me and appreciating my cooking,” said Ripudaman.

    The competition is tough this time, and it won't be easy to choose a winner, says one of the reality show's judge, chef Kunal Kapoor. He co-judges the show with Sanjeev Kapoor and Vikas Khanna.

    “Choosing India’s very own masterchef is no easy task, it’s an important decision and the one who fights hard and proves their mettle by presenting the best dish will be the true 'Masterchef Kitchen ka Superstar',” Kapoor said in a statement.

    The episodes featuring the three actors will go on air on Star Plus June 10 and June 11.

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    Acclaimed writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar's three-year long battle to secure copyright benefits for writers and musicians in the country, has now gone global.

    In what must be regarded as a singular honour for an Indian artist, he has been appointed the vice president of the International Confederation Of Authors and Composers Society (CISAC).

    CISAC, a foreign body, monitors, guards and checks copyright laws all over the world for every form of creative pursuit.

    In principle, Akhtar will now be fighting for copyright laws for artists all over the world.

    Talking from Washington, he said he was "pleasantly surprised by this honour".

    "I guess my battle for copyright and royalty for Indian musicians reached this very prestigious global forum. As you might be aware, the CISAC comprises 121 countries. The apex body looks out for copyright issues in all these countries. So I'd say it's a very big responsibility," he said.

    How did he get selected for the role?

    "Back in 2011, I was at the CISAC headquarters in Brussels to give the keynote address at their summit. There, I spoke about my fight against copyright violation in India. I think they were impressed enough to follow my fight in India. And when the Indian parliament passed a copyright bill in favour of writers and musicians, the CISAC must have taken a decision to invite me on board as vice president," he said.

    "It's an honour, yes but, also a huge responsibility," added the 68-year-old.

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    Actor-comedian Suresh Menon became the first celebrity contestant to get eliminated from the sixth season of "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6" Saturday, which also saw the entry of former Indian skipper Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

    Suresh, along with his choreographer Suchitra Sen was in the bottom three contestants, with actors Meghna Malik and Ekta Kaul, and their respective choreographers.

    The result was announced on the basis of the audience voting and judges Madhuri Dixit, Karan Johar and Remo D'Souza's marks.

    The episode, which was called 'Jhalak on wheels', saw a scintillating impromptu performance by dancing diva Madhuri on her superhit number "Choli ke peechhe", on Meghna's insistence. It was the star attraction in the episode, which was otherwise made interesting with the use of different wheel-based props in the dance sequences.

    "Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 6" airs on Colors.

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    Sohail Khan has been offered a chance to make a film on Fearless Nadia, the queen of stunts, but he would tackle the bio-pic only if and when his producers get the approval from the family of the legendary actress.

    "I'll take up this project only if all the necessary permission and approvals are obtained. There is no point in doing a film on a real-life figure unless the family is with you," said Sohail, who is currently busy helming "Mental", which features his superstar brother Salman Khan in the lead role.

    Initially, her adventurous life as an action star was reportedly to be filmed by Vishal Bhardwaj, who had even zeroed in on a German actress Franka Potente to play the role.

    But then Nadia's family put its collective feet down. Nothing was heard of the project thereafter.

    Nadia is known for her role as an adventuress in the movie "Hunterwali"

    Shedding light on the project, Sohail said: "A producer-friend of mine from Australia approached me with this project a couple of months ago. She's still doing the basic research. And for now I'm totally tied up with my underproduction film. So let's see."

    While it's too early to talk about the casting, one can safely reveal that the role of the fearless phenomenon won't be essayed by a non-Indian actress.

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    Actor-comedian Suresh Menon, who became the first participant to be evicted from the sixth season of dance reality show "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa", is not disappointed because he got to dance a lot within a very short span.

    "Evictions will be there in every episode. I have a neutral feeling, but I am not disappointed," Suresh told IANS.

    Dwelling on the amount of dancing he did on the show, he said: "I have never moved so much in my life. People were entertained and that is why I am happy. I had fun and people laughed with me."

    "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6" went on air June 1 and he enjoyed the atmosphere on the sets of the show that is being judged by actress Madhuri Dixit, filmmaker Karan Johar and choreographer Remo D'Souza.

    "My take away is that I was so comfortable. I met good celebrities and people. It was a good unit. Everyone was so nice and positive on the show," Suresh said and added: "When people came to know I am going (after being evicted), everyone came out and greeted me. I was so touched."

    Suresh is active in both the mediums -- he is known for his comic act on TV show "Comedy Circus" and has also tickled the funny bone of movie-goers with his fun act in films like "Dil To Pagal Hai", "Krazzy 4", "Ra.One", and "Housefull".

    Although his work keeps him on his toes, Suresh is open to more reality shows.

    "I have very little time. I have my website, films, radio and other scripts and my own production house. If I get time, I will do more of these," he said.

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    Soundarya Ashwin, who is busy giving final touches to the most anticipated Tamil period-drama "Kochadaiyaan" featuring her superstar father Rajinikanth, requests fan not to believe rumours about the film's trailer-release date and wait for the official announcement.

    There were rumours that the trailer of "Kochadaiyaan" was scheduled to release June 10, but she clarified through a tweet: "Hey guys. I (will) connect with you directly. Any updates about movie I will give you. Please don't believe rumours. Have a great day."

    Currently in its post-production, Soundarya directed "Kochadaiyaan" is touted to be India's first motion-capture film made along the lines of "Tin Tin" and "Avatar".

    Jointly produced by Eros International and Media One Global Entertainment, the cast also includes Sarath Kumar, Shobana, Aadi Pinisetty, Deepika Padukone and Jackie Shroff in important roles.

    Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman has composed music for the film.

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    The first monsoon shower hit the city and Bollywood celebrities say the arrival of the monsoon means it is time to relish ginger tea, pakodas and fresh air.

    The southwest monsoon hit the city Saturday night, a day before its scheduled arrival and cooled the city, allowing Mumbaikers to heave a sigh of relief.

    It's raining in the city and celebrities expressed their joy on Twitter:

    Madhuri Dixit: Happy Monsoon guys! Finally it's starting to rain in Mumbai!

    Pooja Bhatt: A rain-washed Mumbai... trees sing, stray dogs huddle. Traffic snarls, umbrellas and hem-lines flutter. Gentle light, a spent sky, Sunday... Ah!Life!

    Divya Dutt: N a very happy baarish wala Sunday! Happy relaxing, adrak chai and pakore! uffo! too much.

    Manish Malhotra: Beautiful rains here in Mumbai this morning.

    Kunal Kohli: Nothing better than waking up to a rainy Sunday. Garam Chai. Pakoras. Bhutta. Drive to Lonavala.

    Ayushmann Khurrana: I somehow prefer sunny Sundays. Rain should be a Monday mandate. As it disrupts work and romanticizes the quintessential working day.

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    The condition of 94-year-old legendary singer Manna Dey continued to remain critical at a private hospital on the city’s outskirts, a close family friend said late Sunday.

    “There is not much change in Mannada’s condition, which remains critical due to multiple organ failure. He has been put on life-support system to stabilise his other vital parameters,” the friend told IANS while requesting anonymity.

    The nonagenarian multilingual playback singer has been ailing for over a month because of old age-related complications.

    Though Dey was rushed to super-specialty Narayana Health hospital late Saturday after he complained of breathlessness due to chest infection, duty doctors and hospital management declined to share details with media on the advice of his family members.

    “Family members and relatives are wary of large media presence at the hospital as they do not want to disturb other patients and be quoted or shown on news channels for privacy reasons and are also worried about Mannada’s longevity,” the friend who lives in the neighbourhood of the classical singer, said.

    A week after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee honoured Dey on his 94th birthday May 1 with the state’s Vishesh Maha Sangeet Samman award, the doyen was admitted to the same hospital when he felt uneasy and weak.

    “When Mannada’s health improved and stabilised after being in the hospital for about three weeks, he was brought home and was being attended by two nurses round the clock with a doctor doing rounds daily to check his vital health parameters,” the friend recalled.

    Since Dey shifted to Bangalore from Mumbai a couple of years ago, he has been staying with one of his daughters at Kalyan Nagar in northeast suburb of the city.

    “Dey’s other daughter lives in the US with family. On hearing about his deteriorating health, his two nephews flew from Kolkata earlier in the day to be with the family,” the friend pointed out.

    Dey’s wife Sulochana Kumaran passed away in January 2012 due to cancer.

    Since the news of Mannada’s worsening health condition broke out and spread on news channels and in print media, his family members, relatives and friends have been receiving calls throughout the day from Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and abroad.

    Mannada, whose original name was Prabodh Chandra Dey, has to his credit over a record 3,500 songs in an illustrious career spanning seven decades since 1943.

    His oeuvre boasts of a range of songs -- from romantic numbers to classical to fun songs, he went behind the mike to sing all kind of songs and proved his versatility.

    Dey was also honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the country's highest award in the film world, in 2007.

    The music genius's all-time hits include "Sur na saje kya gaun main", "Na to karanwa ki talash hai na to humsafar ki talash hain", "Puchho na kaise maine rain bitayee", "Laga chunari main daag", "Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum", "Dil ka haal sune dilwala", "Ye raat bhigi bhigi, ye mast fizayen", "Jhanak jhanak tori baaje payaliya", "Tu pyar ka saagar hai", "Chunari sambhal gori udi chali jaye re" and "Ay meri Zohara".

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    Kannada superstar Sudeep, seen in Ram Gopal Varma directed Hindi movies "Phoonk" and "Rann", says he will team up with the filmmaker again, but this time it's RGV's production venture, which is expected to go on floor post-monsoon.

    "I am doing a film with Ram Gopal Varma, it is his production. Anurag Kashyap may also be involved with it," Sudeep told IANS.

    When will it go on floor?

    "I am not sure. They said that they we will start shooting in September. I am directing a film that I need to finish before that," said the 39-year-old who made his directorial debut with Kannada movie "My Autograph".

    Talking about the genre of RGV's film, Sudeep said: "Ram Gopal Varma cannot have a genre at all. He creates genres. He will come out with something, I am sure. We are working on it. Let's see what happens."

    "Sparsha", "Huchcha", "Dhum", "Swathi Muthu", "My Autograph" among others are Sudeep's well-known films and he has signed more regional films.

    "I have signed six films in South but I am a one film man," said the actor who is currently hosting Kannada version of "Bigg Boss", a reality show.

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    Despite aggressive promotion and marketing by Deols, their home production “Yamla Pagla Deewana 2” (YPD 2) made a tepid start at the box office, raking in approximately Rs.16.6 crore in the first two days of its release.

    Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted: "Rides on the star power of the Deols and its brand. But lacklustre script plays a spoilsport!"

    He couldn't be wrong as the critics too panned the film, saying it is "exhausting and loud" and a "torturous joke".

    Trade pundits had predicted that Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone starrer youth-centric romantic drama “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”, which collected above Rs.100 crore in the first week of its release and is still going strong, will give the fun flick a tough competition at the box office.

    "In India, at the rate it is faring, 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' is likely to emerge 3rd biggest grosser, after '3 Idiots' and 'Ek Tha Tiger'. Wait-n-watch, (sic)" tweeted Adarsh.

    Delhi-based distributor Joginder Mahajan said that YPD 2 is doing good in single screens, but business is not overwhelming in the multiplexes. "And it's opposite for 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'."

    Directed by Sangeeth Sivan, YPD 2 starring Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, and Bobby Deol in the lead roles came out Friday on around 1,800 screens across the country.

    The film collected Rs.7.10 crore on the first day and Rs.6.5 crore on Saturday at the domestic box office, while in the overseas market the earning approximately has been Rs.3 crore from 250 screens.

    Produced under the Deols' banner Vijyata Films, the cast has National Award winning actors Annu Kapoor and Anupam Kher as well as Neha Sharma, Christina Akheeva, Sucheta Khanna and Johnny Lever.

    Deols are known to be a big draw in Punjab, but Jaspal Dhingra of Nanaksar Enterprises from the state said: "YPD 2 is not doing a good business. It's a very average film as compared to the first one. The quality of the film is not good."

    "'Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani' is doing a very good business in its second week. The second week collection of 'Yeh Jawaani...' will be much better than the first week collection of YPD 2," he added and pointed out that audiences are not "appreciating" the film as the "concept of the film is not clear at all".

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    If audiences were in for a pleasant surprise when they saw Meghna Malik, small screen's "Ammaji", jiving in the sixth season of dance reality show "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa", the actress too finds herself in a completely different space.

    "Jhalak..." went on air June 1 and Meghna calls the experience "lovely" and "different from the acting work that I have been doing".

    "I am finding myself in a completely different space. I am struggling with my feet and the floor. I am struggling with the lip sync of the songs, which is a tough part in the performances. It is a different form for me as an artist to express myself," she said.

    Meghna's role as mean "Ammaji" in the TV "Na Aana Is Des Laado" used to send shivers down the spine and she admits her character was beyond age and gender.

    "When I started working on it, I felt that it is different and I wanted to keep it different. There was a huge effort involved to keep it different," Meghna told IANS.

    "By the standards of daily soap, it was an interesting character which came across. For me, the age or the gender didn't matter. Ammaji was beyond age and gender. It didn't bore me in three and a half years of the show," she added.

    Getting her teeth into the role of merciless matriarch, who wipes out those who tries to oppose her decision to kill Female foeticide, was indeed a mental and physical struggle for her.

    "A lot of physical strength and mental strength was required to be consistent in that body language...she had big dialogues to speak and that was quite a task for me," she said.

    She had earlier appeared in shows like "Radhaa Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhayengi", "Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai", "Tujko Hai Salaam Zindgi" and "Kagaz Ki Kashtti", but got her due after playing Ammaji.

    She feels the TV industry has a limited range of characters.

    "TV has limited choices for the artists. The range of characters are limited. You don't have much around to play and experiment with," said the actress, who feels daily soap characters don't have power to influence an actor's personal life in any way.

    "The daily soap characters are not that can influence your personal life. Being part of a project where the character becomes so popular that experience makes you different as a person. You grow as an actor. You don't take the character home, it does not work like that," she said.

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    Although his first production venture, Marathi film "Balak Palak", highlighted the importance of sex education among adolescents, actor-producer Riteish Deshmukh says it is not compulsory that all films should convey a message.

    His banner Mumbai Film Company is now working on another Marathi film titled "Lai Bhaari" - meaning mind-blowing - and Riteish will also act in it.

    Producing a Hindi remake of "Balak Palak" is also in his plans.
    "Not necessarily every film needs to have a message. Some films have a message, but the story may be so boring that people don't follow the message," Riteish, son of late Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, said in a group interview.

    "My aim as a producer is to make films that appeal to me. When I read them (scripts), they have to be entertaining," he added, but clarified: "The choices that I make as a producer may not be the choices that I would make as an actor".

    Directed by Ravi Jadhav, "Balak Palak", a comedy-drama on sex education among adolescents, crossed the 100-day mark in theatres after its release Jan 4.

    After completing a decade on the big screen, Riteish turned to the small screen to judge dance reality show "India's Dancing Superstar" on Star Plus.

    He feels "it is wrong to say TV is a small screen. I think TV is the actual big screen because it reaches to maximum number of people."

    The 34-year-old, who himself loves dancing, says he likes Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor and not to forget Govinda's dancing skills.

    "After spending 10 years in the industry, every time I do a song, I do it to enjoy myself, because I am not here to prove any point. I dance to have fun," he said.

    "Every actor has his own way of dancing, some people are really great at dancing. I really find Hrithik fantastic. I also like Shahid and Ranbir as a dancer, but more than that I like Govinda as a dancer, because he has his own style," he added.

    Recollecting his 10-year journey in front of the camera, Riteish said it was a "great" having worked with many filmmakers.

    "I have worked with friends Sajid Khan and Sujoy Ghosh. I have worked with new filmmakers and old ones like David Dhawan. I have worked with Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Amitabh Bachchan. So it's been a fulfilling journey till now," said the actor who came into showbiz in 2003 with "Tujhe Meri Kasam".

    Some of his hits include "Masti" and "Housefull" and "Housefull 2".

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    Tamil director Vikraman has been elected as the new president of the Tamil Nadu Film Directors Association (TANTIS) after he defeated fellow director Visu by a thumping majority of 155 votes in the election that concluded Sunday.

    "Vikraman, who will take charge of the position soon, had a share of 717 votes over Visu's 562," a member of TANTIS told IANS.

    Founded in 1970 by 20 assistant directors TANTIS held its first election in 1975.

    Vikraman takes the place of veteran Tamil director P Bharathiraja, who quit recently following an altercation within the association.

    Vikraman is known for helming films such as "Vanathaippola", and "Suryavamsam".

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    For the second time in a row, Tamil actor Jayam Ravi will play a dual role in upcoming Tamil-Telugu action-thriller "Nimirnthu Nil".

    Ravi played a double role in recently released Tamil thriller "Aadhi Bhagavan".

    "Nimirnthu Nil" is produced by K.S Sreenivasan under his company Vasan Visual Ventures.

    "Ravi will be essaying two important roles in 'Nimirnthu Nil'. While one of them is a software engineer, the other character is of a 45-year old," said a statement from the production house.

    "It's not only about the conflict between the two characters, but how society plays an important part in drawing them together," added the statement.

    The film is simultaneously being made in Telugu as "Janda Pai Kapiraju" featuring Nani. Samuthirakani is wielding the megaphone for both the versions of the film.

    Amala Paul and Meghna Raj play important roles in both versions of the film.

    "Nimirnthu Nil" also features Sarath Kumar, Badava Gopi, Subbu Panchu and Parvathy Nair. It has music by G.V Prakash Kumar.

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    Hundreds of fans of Telugu actor Nandamuri Balakrishna, who turned 52 Monday, queued outside his house here to wish him.

    "Hundreds of Balayya (Balakrishna) fans have come from different parts of the state to wish him on his birthday. They have been waiting outside the house since morning to get a glimpse of their star," the actor's agent told IANS.

    The 52-year old, who will attend the launch of his upcoming Telugu film with director Boyapati Srinu later in the day, will meet his fans first and address them.

    "He will attend the movie launch around afternoon, but before that he will spend some time with his fans," he added.

    Balakrishna is the son of late actor Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR). He made his cinematic debut with 1974 Telugu film "Tatamma Kala".

    Some of his best films include "Narsimha Naidu", "Bhairava Dweepam" and "Simha".

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    Southern superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran, who is on Cloud Nine after receiving a positive response to his performance in “Aurangzeb”, is now set to try his hand at comedy with "Happy New Year". He says he excited about the project.

    "I am in a happy state right now as my performance in 'Aurangzeb' was appreciated and people didn't come out saying they saw a South Indian actor. Audience and critics felt i played my part well and this was a huge achievement," Prithviraj, who made his Bollywood debut with "Aiyyaa", told IANS.

    "Now for the first time in Bollywood, I will be seen in a comedy film 'Happy New Year'. I am really looking forward to working in this film", he added.

    Directed by choreographer-turned-filmmaker Farah Khan, "Happy New Year" features Shah Rukh Khan.

    Prithviraj says the film will be a situational comedy and will go on the floors by September.

    "Its a very special film with a situational comedy. Its a very funny film. I spoke to Farah but she is not keeping well. The film will go on floors by September. I am looking forward to this film," he said.

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    A Mumbai sessions court Monday deferred till June 24 the verdict in the appeal filed by Bollywood actor Salman Khan against a magistrate's order in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

    Khan had appealed against the magistrate's order directing a retrial of the case under the stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Sessions court judge U.B. Hejib was due to deliver his verdict in the matter Monday.

    The arguments in the case concluded in early May, and Khan's lawyer Ashok Mundargi had contended that the lower court's order was "erroneous, bad in law and contrary to evidence on record".

    The fresh charge, under Section 304 (III) of the Indian Penal Code, would attract a maximum jail term of 10 years.

    Earlier, Khan had been tried under the less severe Section 304A of IPC, relating to causing death by negligence, which stipulates a maximum two years in jail.

    However, the metropolitan magistrate, after examining 17 witnesses in the case, had invoked the more serious charge under Section 304 (III) of the IPC against Khan.

    Public prosecutor S. Erande had said that its witness, police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who has since died, had repeatedly warned Khan not to drive rashly, but the actor allegedly did not heed him.

    Erande further submitted that Khan was drunk at the time of the incident in which one person was killed and four others injured.

    Khan's SUV ran over pavement dwellers in suburban Bandra in the early hours of Sep 28, 2002.

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    Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra's father Ashok Chopra, who was hospitalised at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital two weeks ago, passed away Monday afternoon.

    “He passed away at 12.30 p.m. today (Monday). He was undergoing cancer treatment,” hospital COO Ram Narain told IANS.

    Chopra was admitted to the hospital about 17 days ago, Ram Narain said, adding that he was undergoing cancer treatment for the past few years but this time he was at the terminal stage.

    Priyanka had reportedly cancelled all her shoots and was by his side for the last few days.

    Chopra, a doctor, had retired from the Indian Army in 1997 as a lieutenant colonel.

    Chopra is survived by his wife Madhu, also a former army doctor, daughter Priyanka and son Siddharth.

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