Salman Khan given 5 years in jail in 2002 case, HC extends his bail by two days

NetIndian News Network

Mumbai, May 6, 2015

Salman Khan gets five years in jail in 2002 hit-and-run case
Popular Bollywood actor Salman Khan was today convicted and sentenced to five years in prison by a sessions court here for causing the death of a pavement dweller in a 2002 hit-and-run case in which he was accused of driving under the influence of liquor, but got bail for two days from the Bombay High Court a little later.
Sessions judge D W Deshpande held that all the charges against the actor, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder, had been proven.
Since the quantum of sentence was more than three years, Khan could not have applied for bail in the sessions court and, therefore, approached the High Court. Khan was already on bail in the case, and the High Court extended it by two more days until Friday, when it will hear his bail application.
Khan's lawyers had sought bail on the ground that the detailed order of the sessions judge had not been made available yet.
Once the copy of the High Court's order reached the session court, he left for home around 7.15 pm after completing various formalities. Hundreds of his fans and well-wishers had gathered outside his residence in Bandra to greet him on his arrival.
The sessions judge accepted the prosecution's case that Khan, 49, was at the wheel at the time of the accident, rejecting the defence plea that it was his driver Ashok Singh who was actually driving the vehicle then.
Khan and members of his family present in the court room were visibly upset after hearing the verdict.
During the argument on the quantum of sentence, lawyers for the actor pleaded for a lesser term, citing his philanthropic work and the fact that he had paid Rs 19 lakh as compensation to the family of the victim. They also said he was prepared to pay more if ordered to do so. "We are not running away from responsibility," his counsel said.
The prosecution, on the other hand, argued for the maximum sentence of 10 years.
The case related to the incident, nearly 13 years ago, on September 28, 2002 when the actor's Land Cruiser went out of control and ran over five persons sleeping on a pavement outside a bakery in the Bandra area of the city. One person died and the four others suffered injuries in the incident.
The prosecution said Khan was driving the vehicle when the mishap occurred, that he was driving without a licence and that he was drunk at that time. They also accused him of fleeing from the scene. The actor, on the other hand, said he was not driving, that he was not drunk and that he had not run away from the spot.
The prosecution produced eyewitnesses, those who were injured in the accident, employees of the bar where the actor had consumed drinks, doctors who examined his blood samples and forensic experts, among others, as witnesses.
In a surprising development, Khan's driver Ashok Singh turned up in court recently, after more than 12 years, and deposed that it was he who was driving the car on that day. He said the front left tyre of the car had burst, leading to the mishap
Large crowds of Khan's fans, mediapersons, lawyers and others had gathered outside the court at Kalaghoda to find out about the judgement.
The judge pronounced his guilty verdict within minutes after arriving in court and later prounced the quantum of sentence, about two hours later, at 1.10 pm.
Khan was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, rash and negligent driving, causing hurt by act endangering life,  causing grievous hurt, causing damage to property, driving vehicle in contravention of rules and driving at great speed after consuming alcohol.

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