Salman gets 5-yr jail in hit-and-run case, moves HC

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Mumbai, May 6 (PTI) In a jolt to Salman Khan, a sessions court today sentenced him to five years rigorous imprisonment in the 2002 hit-and-run case after which the actor was arrested.

The Bollywood superstar’s lawyers immediately moved the Bombay High Court for bail and a stay on his conviction. The application will be heard at 4 pm.

Immediately after the sessions court judge D W Dedshpande handed down the punishment at 1.30 pm, the actor was taken into custody.

Salman was given a copy of the judgement following which his lawyer quickly moved the High Court in appeal.

The 49-year-old actor was convicted of culpable homicide for ramming a roadside backery with his Toyota Land Cruiser and, in the process, killing one person and wounding four others sleeping on the pavement outside.

He was also pronounced guilty of driving without a licence for which he received two months jail term. The actor was also found guilty of driving under the influence of liquor.

Salman, known for his macho onscreen avatar, was in tears when Judge Deshpande pronounced the verdict.

“All charges have been proved against you…What you have to say?” the judge 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 said, rejecting the defence’s claim that the actor’s driver Ashok Singh was at the wheel when the accident took place.

Salman, attired in a white shirt and light blue denim jeans, however, insisted, “I was not driving the car…But I respect your decision and accept it. My lawyer will speak on my behalf.”

While convicting Salman, the court drew parallels with Alistair Pereira and Sanjeev Nanda BMV cases.

In a related development, the court rejected the plea of activist Santosh Daundkar seeking action against the police for perjury (giving false evidence under oath) for examining a wrong set of doctors in the trial, thereby delaying the process of justice.

He had also sought action against the police for not examining a key witness–singer Kamaal Khan, who was in the vehicle at the time of mishap.

Dismissing Daundkar’s plea as “frivolous”, the court imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on the activist.

Salman’s brothers Arbaaz and Sohail, sisters Alvira and Arpita stood beside him in the court. Former Congress MLA Baba Siddiqui, film producer Ramesh Taurani, Salman’s secretary Reshma Shetty and private bodyguard Shera were also present.

The courtroom number 52 was packed with reporters, lawyers and policemen, while scores of his fans had gathered outside. .