HC suspends Salman’s sentence, grants bail

In a big relief to Salman Khan, the Bombay High Court on Friday suspended his sentence and granted him bail till his appeal is decided. By evening, the actor was released on his executing a cash bail bond of Rs. 30,000.

His release comes two days after the sessions court sentenced him to five-year rigorous imprisonment in the 2002 hit-and-run case on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He was granted interim bail thereafter for two days.

“It is the normal rule that if the sentence is below seven years, it can be suspended after the appeal is admitted,” said Justice Abhay Thipsay, admitting Mr. Khan’s appeal.

“The sentence has to be suspended. We can’t take pleasure in seeing somebody [incarcerated] till his appeal is decided. Even on the basis that he was driving, it is a case for suspension of sentence. This is not a case where in spite of the admission of the appeal, the appellant [Salman] should be kept in detention till the appeal is decided. It would be proper to suspend the sentence during the pendency of the appeal.”

The High Court noted that Mr. Khan was on bail throughout the course of the trial. “His liberty was not disturbed. It is nobody’s case that he is likely to abscond.”

As per the High Court’s directions, Mr. Khan surrendered before the sessions court in the afternoon. In addition to the bail bond, he has to furnish a personal surety within two weeks. His passport has already been surrendered to the police. However, he can apply for permission before the High Court to travel abroad.

Justice Thipsay rejected Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde’s argument that the actor’s social status was important. The court remarked it was unfortunate that people who did not have the resources had to be in detention till their appeals were decided.

The judge observed that several “arguable points” raised by the defence in their appeal challenging the trial court’s order needed consideration. One of them was whether section 304A (death by negligence) or 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code could be applied in the case.

Justice Thipsay posted the appeal for final hearing to July. On June 15 the court will issue directions on the appeal.

Agencies add:

More security at Salman's home

A huge crowd of fans gathered outside the Bollywood superstar’s residence in suburban Bandra on Friday morning.

A strong posse of police were deployed outside Salman’s home at Galaxy apartment in Bandra. The actor had a steady stream of visitors yesterday, including MNS chief Raj Thackeray and his Bollywood colleagues like Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Karan Johar.

Victim insists on compensation

Meanwhile, Abdullah Sheikh, who was injured in the accident that took place on September 28, 2002, outside the American Express bakery in Bandra, on Friday said he is not interested in whether the actor is punished or not, but he should get compensation

Last Wednesday’s interim bail had come hours after Salman was found guilty and subsequently sentenced to five years in jail, plus a fine of Rs.25,000 by Additional Sessions Judge Deshpande.

In the significant verdict, Judge Deshpande pronounced him guilty on all the prosecution charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder, rash and drunken driving, driving without a valid licence and other laws.

The ruling came in the 13—year—old accident case when Salman’s Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into a bakery in Bandra west in the early hours of September 28, 2002, killing one pavement dweller and injuring four others, a short distance from his sea-facing home in Galaxy Apartments.

Salman Khan in the eye of the storm

Other controversies

  • »Blackbuck case: He was accused of poaching two Blackbucks in 1998 near Jodhpur during the shooting of 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'. He was sentenced to one year prison.
  • » Comments about 26/11 attacks: “It was the elite that was targeted this time. So they panicked. Then they got up and spoke about it. My question is why not before? Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much,” Salman said in 2010. He claimed that Pakistan cannot be held responsible. He later apologised.
  • » Aishwarya Rai in the picture: After their presence in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, the couple’s relationship was in the eye of the storm. After they broke up in 2002, Aishwarya alleged that the actor harassed her, as he was unable to come to terms with the ending of their relationship. A case was also registered by Aishwarya’s parents.
  • » Brawl with SRK: In 2008, the two actors allegedly got into a fistfight during a party. The relationship between the two stars has never been the same since then. However, the two actors got back together on a good foot in an Iftar party and SRK attended Salman’s sister’s wedding. SRK visited Salman hours before the verdict on hit-and-run case.
  • » Vivek Oberoi’s allegations: The actor accused Salman of "threatening to kill him, abusing and indulging in character assassination." It was rumoured that Vivek Oberoi and Aishwarya Rai were in a relationship.

>Salman Khan convicted in hit-and-run case

Justice D.W. Deshpande held the Bollywood actor guilty of all counts rejecting his claim that his driver Ashok Singh was at the wheel when the accident took place.

The Bombay High Court on May 8, 2015 stayed the conviction and gave bail to the actor upon furnishing a bond of Rs. 30,000.

>How the hit-and-run case unfolded

From initial charges to the final verdict, here's a timeline of the case that spanned over a massive 13 years.

>Bollywood offers Salman Khan words of comfort

Many in the Hindi film industry expressed sympathy for the actor after the court sentenced him to five years of imprisonment.

>The Salman phenomenon

Four eminent writers present their perspective on Salman Khan, his fans and the post-verdict debate.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 1:39:49 AM |

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