Bollywood star Salman Khan acquitted in 13-year-old hit-and-run case

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Actor Salman Khan acquitted of all charges in hit-and-run-case.

The Bombay High Court Thursday acquitted Bollywood star Salman Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case in which he was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment by a sessions court. Maybe, there was no accident that night: Sharif died because of sudden rush of emotions on seeing Bhai and his superstar friends amidst pavement dwellers and others broke their legs in the stampede to get his autograph.

Salman is acquitted of all charges.” Justice Joshi, who started dictating the verdict on Monday, said the prosecution failed to establish its case against the appellant accused (Salman) on all charges. Khan, one of the Indian movie industry’s biggest box-office draws, broke down in tears and supporters in the gallery let out hushed cheers as the verdict was delivered.

This wasn’t a film based on Salim-Javed script where the conscientious hero, torn apart by guilty conscience, seeks atonement through strict punishment. On the basis of evidences produced by the prosecution Salman Khan cannot be convicted, no matter how differently the common man thinks.” The High Court said that the prosecution could not prove that Khan was driving the vehicle and that he was under the influence of alcohol.

Labourer Nurulah Mahbob Sharif was killed and several others were injured when the vehicle ploughed into them at speed as they slept on a street in the suburb of Bandra West. No, this wasn’t Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment or Rajesh Khanna’s Dushman; this was just another remake of Andhaa Kanoon where the cops and investigating agencies turned a blind eye to a crime.

The court also decided that the testimony of key witness, Khan’s former bodyguard Ravindra Patil who was also in the car, was “not wholly reliable.” Patil died in 2007. He said he is of the considered view that the appreciation of evidence done by the trial court while convicting the appellant was not proper and legal, as per the principles of criminal jurisprudence. Consequently, it must be said that this is not a case where the prosecution has successfully established its charges, he observed, adding that the entire evidence of the prosecution was circumstantial in nature. They claimed Khan had been drinking water and had climbed out of the car through the driver’s side after the accident as the passenger door had been damaged.

Overcome with emotions, he broke down, following which Shera, the actor’s bodyguard for many years, walked up to Salman and asked him to turn his face to the wall so people do not see him cry. “I am happy for him. Dozens of joyous fans gathered outside his home in Mumbai’s north as news of his acquittal spread, while colleagues in the Hindi film industry tweeted their delight. Other Twitter users were less kind, suggesting there was one rule for the rich and another for the poor in India, lamenting that little attention was being given to the victim. Before Thursday, Salman Khan was among the privileged few to have spent just a few days behind bars, in spite of three convictions and a combined sentence of 11 years.

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