Bollywood heartthrob Salman Khan was awarded a five-year jail sentence due to an unfortunate hit-and-run accident that occurred 13 years ago. The accident caused by his Land cruiser resulted in the death of one man and injury to four victims.
According to Pinkvilla, the ‘Dabangg’ star was “sentenced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.” Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande was quoted saying (to Salman), “You were driving the car.” The Judge also mentioned in his verdict that Salman was driving drunk and was not in possession of his driving license.
Defense lawyer Abha Singh was delighted at the verdict stating it was just. While speaking to media, she was quoted saying, “I am very happy. Justice has been done. The law has been upheld.”
Salman’s verdict may be cause of concern to filmmakers who have invested millions into his upcoming films. According to Pinkvilla, Rs. 200 crore could be possibly at stake. Prior to the verdict, industry expert Amol Mehra stated to IANS that things will be fine regardless of the court’s decision. He was quoted saying, “There is no panic in the film industry or in anybody’s mind, thanks to the laws in India. It is because we all are very clear that there are other ways to come out as well like bail. So there is no question of panicking over his arrest as of now.”
Two of Salman’s upcoming films ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ and ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ are close to wrapping up whose cost, according to Mehra, is upwards of Rs. 200 crore. Mehra added, “Nothing serious will happen immediately.”
Industry expert Vinod Mirani was also quoted by IANS saying, “If the decision is not in his favor, he will appeal to a higher court. Nobody goes to jail so fast. He will appeal and then that court will undertake proceedings of the case which will take time. It takes a lot of time to send somebody to jail. It can even take ten years.”
Sanjay Dutt, who has starred with Salman in the 90s classic ‘Saajan’, was involved in case for illegal arms possession at the time of the 1993 Mumbai blasts and his case took years to complete. Sanjay eventually did go behind bars but after a long-drawn judicial process. According to the Indian Express, the ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’ star is currently on a two week leave of absence from jail. He was quoted saying, “I have lost 18 kg. Now if I lose any more weight, I will vanish.”
Will Salman be able to buy more time from the law with regards to his sentence like Sanjay? We will have to wait and see.