Mumbai: Bollywood actor Salman Khan was on Wednesday sentenced to five years in jail for a 2002 hit-and-run accident that left one man dead and four others injured here. Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande announced the verdict at a packed courtroom here, stunning the actor and his family.
Salman, one of the highest paid actors in Bollywood, was sentenced for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The judge held Salman guilty of rash and negligent driving when he was at the wheels of the Land Cruiser that killed the poor victim in suburban Bandra in September 2002.
Defence lawyer Abha Singh said justice had finally been done. “I am very happy,” she told the media. “Justice has been done. The law has been upheld.” She said the long delay had given the impression that the rich could get away with murder in India, and that the moneyed were above the law.
Earlier on Wednesday, the actor was found guilty on most of the charges levelled against him in the incident. His lawyers had pleaded for a lighter sentence, citing the actor’s social work as well as heart and other medical issues. Salman is likely to be taken into police custody and sent to the Arthur Road Central Jail in south Mumbai.