Bollywood superstar Salmaan Khan has been sentenced to five years in jail for killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run driving incident in Mumbai. The actor has been charged with culpable homicide, for running over five people with his SUV while under the influence of alcohol. The verdict comes 13 years after he killed a man sleeping on a sidewalk and injured four others.
The 49-year-old actor consistently denied allegations that he was driving the car when it hit the pavement in Mumbai’s Bandra locality on Sept. 28, 2002. He has also said he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol at the time, contradicting what victims, witnesses and a constable in his security detail have said in statements to the police. However the final verdict by the judge was that the actor was driving the car and was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
The Bollywood star listened to the verdict with tears in his eyes, while the members of his family present in the courtroom broke down in tears.
Upon appeal, the actor has now been granted bail until May 8, by Bombay High Court.
Though the actor has done a lot to save lives of thousands through his charity – Being Human – however, if he was involved in the hit-and-run case then this verdict signifies the non-biased power of the judiciary system.
Others actors and close friends have been disheartened by the verdict and here are some of there responses:
Experts feel that the timing of this verdict will be very critical for the industry, because there is a total of Rs. 350 crore already been invested on the actor (including films and endorsements).