|Actor Salman Khan Leave Court after getting bail till Friday due to he found Guilty in Hit and Run case by Session Court.|
The Bombay High Court granted a two-day interim bail to the actor and asked him to furnish fresh bond.
The man was among five people who were run over in the incident. The actor was charged with culpable homicide.
Earlier, pronouncing the judgement in a packed courtroom, sessions judge D.W. Deshpande convicted the 49-year-old actor for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced him to five years rigorous imprisonment.
“Taking stock of the evidence the court holds that you were driving the vehicle. The court also holds that you were under intoxication. All the charges against you are proved,” the judge told Salman.
Asked what he had to say about his conviction, the actor told the court to take whatever steps “in the interest of justice.”
Khan had said his driver was behind the wheel, but the judge said the actor was driving the car and was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
Legal experts expect the actor to appeal against the verdict.
Khan’s lawyers have already applied for bail in the Bombay high court which is expected to hear the case. The actor remains in the trial court while his fate is being decided.
Guilty verdict is a huge setback for Khan although he could have been jailed for 10 years.
The actor is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, appearing in more than 80 Hindi-language films. Several of his films, including Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun, have been huge commercial hits.
On Wednesday morning, as the actor drove to court with his family and friends, fans prayed for the actor’s acquittal.
|Salman Khan was brought into session court with high security by Mumbai Pulish in morning|
Salman, who came to court clad in a white shirt and light blue denims. On hearing the verdict, he seemed to put up a stoic composure, but bowed down his head and shuffled his feet.
His sisters Alvira Khan Agnihotri, who has been a regular at the hearings, and Arpita Khan cried when the judgement was pronounced. They stood by their brother’s side after the verdict along with brother Arbaz Khan.
But Judge DW 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 49-year-old actor was also found guilty of negligent driving and causing grievous harm to the victims and given separate terms for each offence, but defence lawyers said all the sentences would run concurrently.
Within minutes of entering the courtroom, the judge informed Khan that he was guilty.
After that, for the next three hours as the lawyers from both the sides presented their arguments over his punishment, Khan, who was dressed in a white shirt, remained calm and composed.
His family and friends inside the court were hoping that he would get a jail term of three years or less.
But when the judge sentenced him to five years in prison, Khan’s expression changed immediately.
And even as his sisters tried to comfort him, the actor looked visibly upset.
Several of his Bollywood colleagues spoke out in his support and expressed their sympathies. Actress Hema Malini said she was praying for him.
If the actor is put behind bars, it will affect several high-profile film projects he is involved in at the moment.
The case has gripped Bollywood and India for years.
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 tyre burst but the court did not accept that version.
In his deposition before the court in March, Salman said he was neither drunk nor was he driving his car. “I was awake through the night at that time. And I was stressed about this (accident),” he said when asked about his dilated pupils. Denying running away from the scene, he told the court, “I was told that it would be easier to help the victims in my absence…It is false that the bakery people caught me.”
According to the prosecution’s case, the actor was driving his car in a drunken state; he lost control of his car and ran over pavement dwellers. Constable Ravindra Patil, his bodyguard, who was present with him at the time, is the complainant in the case. Mr. Patil said in his statement to the police that Salman was in an inebriated condition and that he had warned the actor against driving in such a condition. The constable died in October 2007, before the retrial. The defence sought to discard his statement.
Salman’s defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade had contended that the prosecution should have produced fingerprint reports which would have been clinching evidence about the person who was driving the car at the time of the accident. He also claimed that the prosecution on purpose destroyed some crucial evidence in the case including the parking tag of J W Marriott hotel.
The prosecution examined 27 witnesses, while the defence examined only one witness – Salman’s driver Ashok Singh. One of the prosecution witnesses was a security guard Sachin Kadam, who was declared hostile after he backtracked from his statement of having seen the actor at the spot of the accident.
Justice after 13 years?
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 2015: Khan found guilty, sent to jail for five years