Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Salman Khan verdict has India gripped

Reading Time: 3 minutesFive years in jail for 2002 hit-and-run death. QUAID NAJMI reports

Bollywood was in shock on Wednesday after superstar Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in jail for a 2002 hit-and-run that killed a man sleeping on a footpath and injured four others in Mumbai. As the actor was to be taken to prison, the Bombay High Court gave him a two-day respite in the form of interim bail.
The 49-year-old Salman – heartthrob of millions – was in tears as Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande, who found him guilty on all the charges, pronounced the sentence in a packed courtroom, nearly 13 years after the tragic death in the suburb of Bandra.
Salman’s sisters, Alvira and Arpita, tried to console him although they themselves were crying.
One of the highest paid actors in Bollywood, Salman was sentenced for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and driving without licence. He was also held guilty of rash and negligent driving – for ramming his Land Cruiser into the American Express Bakery after running over the victim, Nurullah Mahboob Sharif, in September 2002.
The others injured in the accident were Munna Malai Khan, Kalim M. Pathan, Abdullah Rauf Sheikh and Muslim Shaikh.
“All the charges have been proved against you… What do you have to say?” Judge Deshpande asked Salman who was in the dock.
“I hold that you were driving the vehicle. You were intoxicated. I also do not agree with your plea that the person who had died had received fatal injuries after a crane dropped the car on the persons underneath while removing it,” the judge added.
He rejected defence lawyer Shrikant Shivade’s contentions that the actor’s driver Ashok Singh was at the wheel when the accident took place, and owned up responsibility belatedly.
Salman, attired in a white shirt and light blue denim jeans, however, insisted that he was not driving the car. “But I respect your decision and accept it. My lawyer will speak on my behalf.”
In the high court, senior Supreme Court counsel Harish Salve cited medical reasons for seeking bail and also argued that no one can be arrested on the basis of a summarised court order. The hearing on the bail application will be taken up on Friday.
Friday will be the final working day of the Bombay High Court before it goes on annual summer vacation. It will reopen on June 7.

Although his lawyers spoke about his poor health, Salman was shooting in Kashmir for Bajrangi Bhaijaan, one of the much-anticipated films this year. The other is Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. The total cost of the two films would be around Rs.200 crore.
Known for giving blockbusters like Kick, Wanted and Ek Tha Tiger, Salman has acted in about 100 movies since he made his debut in 1988 with Biwi Ho Toh Aisi as a supporting actor.
The film that brought him glory was the 1989 hit Maine Pyar Kiya.
In no time after Salman was sentenced, Bollywood plunged into gloom. “We all know that Salman is excellent as human who can’t fight with destiny,” said producer and director Subhash Ghai.
Actor-producer Riteish Deshmukh called Salman one of the “finest people I have met in this industry”. Actress Bipasha Basu added: “Salman is the nicest human being in this business… Deeply saddened.”
Actress Sonakshi Sinha, Salman’s co-star in Dabangg, called the verdict “terrible news”. Director Kunal Kohli said he was “heartbroken”.
But activist lawyer Abha Singh said justice has finally been done. “I am very happy,” she told the media. “Justice has been done. The law has been upheld.”
She said the long delay in the case had given the impression that the rich could get away with murder in India, and that the moneyed were above the law.
This is the third case of a high-profile Bollywood actor going to jail in Mumbai. In May 2013, actor Sanjay Dutt was convicted for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings and sentenced to five years in jail. He is lodged in Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail.

- Advertisement -
Previous articleMotherhood 101
Next articleMums be like…

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

mitali modi with kamala harris

Shattering glass ceilings: Mitali Modi on working with Kamala Harris

  Emboldened to take action in an era of heightened political polarisation, racial unrest and an uncontainable pandemic, young Indian American Mitali Modi talks here...
The free dialysis centre in Delhi's Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Source: @mssirsa/Twitter

Free-of-charge dialysis hospital at Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

  A 101-bedded dedicated free-of-charge kidney dialysis centre is up and running at the premises of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara...

We asked children around the world what they knew about COVID

  During the pandemic, children have been separated from family and friends, schools have been closed and there have been limitations on important activities, such...

Flexible work arrangements help women, but only if they are also...

  Flexible workplace policies designed to improve gender gaps in employment and pay might actually make things worse for women. Flexible work has been on offer...
Guess The Song rj ekta

LISTEN: Will you be the one to correctly guess this tune?

  Are you good with guessing tunes? Keen ear for rhythm and beats? RJ Ekta might've been able to stump you with this one. She recently...