Salman Khan convicted of “all charges” hit-and-run case

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Mumbai, May 6 (PTI) Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was today convicted by a Mumbai sessions court of culpable homicide in the 2002 hit-and-run case, a verdict that could see the actor locked up in jail for upto 10 years.

Delivering the verdict in the case that dragged on for over 12 years, sessions court judge D W Deshpande said “all charges” against the actor have been proved, which included the stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, besides various other offences, including rash and negligent driving and driving under influence of liquor.

The judge held that the actor also did not have a driving licence. The prosecution had alleged that Khan was driving without holding a licence and, to buttress its charge, produced RTO records to show that the actor had procured a licence only in 2004, two years after the tragedy.

The court, while pronouncing the judgement, drew parallels with the Alistair Pereira and Sanjeev Nanda BMW cases.

Asked if he had to say anything about the verdict, Salman, who fought back tears, denied the charge that he was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

The 49-year-old actor had earlier been tried for the lesser offence of causing death by rash and negligent driving which attracts a lighter punishment of imprisonment upto two years.

Arguments are now in progress over the quantum of sentence.

After examining several witnesses, a Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate had terminated the trial midway in 2012 and slapped the serious charge of culpable homicide against the actor before committing the matter to the sessions court.

The court, while convicting the hugely popular actor, upheld the prosecution’s contention that he was at the wheel when his Toyota Land Cruiser ran over five people sleeping on the pavement outside American Express bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one person and wounding four.