Salman Khan jailed for 5 years in hit-and-run case, gets two days' interim bail

NEW DELHI: Actor Salman Khan was today convicted by a Mumbai Sessions court for five years for killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run case.


The 49-year old actor who had been charged with culpable homicide was directed to be taken to jail today itself.   


However, the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail for two days after his case was argued by senior counsel Harish Salve, who said no person could be jailed on the basis of a partial order. He said his client had only been read out the operative portion. 


The dead man, 38-year-old Noor Ullah Khan, was among five people who were run over in the incident. Late on the night of 28 September 2002, Khan's Toyota Land Cruiser hit the American Express Bakery in the Bandra area of Mumbai.


Khan had sought to say his driver was behind the wheel, but Judge DW Deshpande said the actor was driving the car and was under the influence of alcohol at the time. 


"You were driving the car; you were under the influence of alcohol," he told the actor as soon as the court proceedings began.


Khan has been booked under Section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (rash and negligent driving); 279 (rash driving); 337 (causing minor injuries); 338 (causing major injuries) 427 (negligence), and under Motor Vehicle Act Sections 34 (a), (b) read with 181 (driving vehicle in contravention of rules); 185 (driving at great speed after consuming alcohol).


The arguments by lawyers on his sentence went on for about three years, during which time 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 Khan broke down when the judge pronounced his sentence and he was visibly upset when his sisters tried to comfort him.


One of Bollywood's busiest stars having appeared in more than 80 Hindi-language films, Khan’s jail sentence is bound to affect the film projects he was working in.


The prosecution alleged that Khan had been driving the car while drunk, both of which charges the actor denied in court in March. 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.


Khan had been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder in October 2001 and arrested but granted bail. In May 2003, the Court rejected his plea to drop culpable homicide charge and but in June 2003 the Bombay High Court dropped culpable homicide charge but said he be tried for rash and negligent driving.


Khan will also be taken for a medical examination before being sent to jail. His lawyers had told the court today that he had heart and neurological problems. The judge had remained unmoved.


Khan is the second actor to have gone to jail recently, the earlier being Sanjay Dutt.


In addition to his acting career, Khan is a stage performer and an active humanitarian through his charity organisation Being Human. 


The actor has two film releases lined up for this year namely Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo.


Apart from films, the actor also hosts the television reality show Bigg Boss on Colors.

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