MUMBAI (TIP): A Bollywood celebrity actor Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in jail by a Mumbai Court, today, May 6 in a 13 year old case of hit and run driving incident in Mumbai in which a homeless man was killed while four others were run over.
[quote_right] Khan found guilty, sentenced to jail for five years [/quote_right]
However, the actor will not be sent to jail. Within hours of sentencing, Salman’s lawyer Harish Salve obtained from Mumbai High Court, an interim bail order which gives him reprieve for two days, until May 8, when the Court will hear the actor’s petition for confirmation of bail. It is believed that given the many avenues available in the Indian legal system, Salman is unlikely to be spending time in jail.
Salman Khan was charged with culpable homicide. The court found the actor guilty of all counts of charges which included drunken driving, driving without valid license, running away from the scene of the incident and causing death of a man, besides causing injuries to four others.
Khan had said his driver was behind the wheel, but Judge D.W. Deshpande found him guilty on the charge of culpable homicide.
“You were driving the car; you were under the influence of alcohol,” he told the actor as soon as the court proceedings began.
The case has gripped Bollywood and India for 13 years, since 2002.
Late on the night of 28 September 2002, Khan’s Toyota Land Cruiser hit the American Express bakery in the Bandra area of Mumbai, authorities say.
The vehicle ran over five people sleeping on the street, killing 38-year-old Noor Ullah Khan and seriously injuring three others. Another person received minor injuries.
The prosecution alleged that Khan had been driving the car while drunk. Giving evidence in March., Khan had denied he was drunk or that he was driving the vehicle.
But many witnesses disagreed.
A constable attached to Khan’s security detail said in a statement to the police that the “drunk” actor had lost control of the car. The policeman died in 2007 of tuberculosis.
In April, Khan’s driver told the court that he had crashed the car after a tire burst but the court did not accept that version.
[quote_center]Timeline of the case[/quote_center]
September 2002: Salman Khan’s car runs over five people sleeping on a Mumbai street, killing a homeless man and injuring four others
October 2002: Khan charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder – arrested but granted bail
May 2003: Court rejects his plea to drop culpable homicide charge
June 2003: Bombay high court drops culpable homicide charge; actor is then tried for rash and negligent driving
October 2007: Prime witness, a constable who served in his security detail, dies
March 2015: Khan tells the court he was not drunk and his driver was behind the wheel
May 6, 2015: Khan found guilty, sentenced to jail for five years
May 6, 2015: Mumbai High Court grants interim bail to Khan for two days, until May 8