Salman Khan Guilty of Homicide in Hit-and-Run Case
An Indian court on Wednesday found Bollywood superstar Salman Khan guilty of culpable homicide in a hit-and-run incident in Mumbai more than a decade ago, one of Mr. Khan’s lawyers said.
The 49-year-old actor – one of the biggest names in Indian show business – was accused of running over a group of people sleeping on a sidewalk in the Indian financial capital in 2002, killing one and injuring four. He then ran away from the scene, a prosecutor said.
After more than 12 years of court hearings, a Mumbai court found the actor had committed culpable homicide, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to his lawyer, Shrikant Shivade. The court also found Mr. Khan guilty of rash and negligent driving, causing hurt by endangering life and drunk driving, Mr. Shivade said.
Mr. Khan pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Mr. Shivade said Mr. Khan’s chauffeur was at the wheel at the time of the crash, not Mr. Khan.
“Salman was neither drunk nor was he behind the wheel at the time of the accident,”
he told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday ahead of the verdict.
“He had been drinking water all evening.”
Mr. Khan’s driver, Ashok Singh, told a Mumbai court in March that he was driving the car when the accident took place
“as the tire burst and brake jammed,”
making steering and braking difficult, according to Mr. Shivade. Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat accused the driver of lying to protect his employer. The court was hearing further arguments on Wednesday before deciding on a sentence, Mr. Shivade said.
Mr. Khan has acted in more than 100 films and television shows since he began his career in the late 1980s. Five of his recent films have earned a total of more than a billion rupees ($15.7 million) in domestic ticket sales. He also runs a health and education nonprofit called the Being Human Foundation, which he started in 2007. Mr. Khan’s next Bollywood movie, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” is scheduled to release later this year. Some film critics said Mr. Khan was likely to continue with his career, if he avoided a lengthy jail term.
By Vibhuti Agarwal – The Wall Street Journal
Here is how the case unfolded:
Even all of Bollywood is tweeting about Salman Khan, some what seems like asking for special treatment. Good to know that the court is not showing special treatment for a Celebrity
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