Barely hours after Bollywood star Salman Khan is sentenced to five years imprisonment in the 2002 hit-and-run case, Bombay High Court grants him interim bail till May 8
Bollywood star Salman Khan will not have to spend the night in jail after he has been granted two days interim bail in the 2002 hit and run case.
Salman was Wednesday sentenced by a sessions court to five years' rigorous imprisonment in the 2002 hit-and-run case, but he swiftly moved the Bombay High Court which granted him interim bail till May 8 to hear his appeal against conviction.
Justice Abhay Thipsay granted interim bail to the actor on the ground that the accused had been given only a 2-page operative part of the conviction order and not the full reasoned order by the sessions court.
"The urgency in the matter is that the appellant (Salman) who was on bail throughout the trial is likely to be taken into custody today. However, the copy of the order has not been delivered yet," Justice Thipsay observed.
The Judge said, in all fairness and in the interest of justice, it would be proper to protect Salman Khan for the time till a copy of the order containing reasons for conviction is furnished to him.
"The order could have been pronounced when the copy was ready. Why was the order pronounced today? It should not have been delivered if the copy is not ready," Justice Thipsay said.
The judge also directed the actor to execute a fresh bond before the trial court today itself.
Appearing for the actor, senior counsel Harish Salve argued that Salman should be granted bail till he gets copy of the order that has details of the reasons for his conviction.
Opposing his plea, government pleader Sandeep Shinde said the High Court should not entertain it without a copy of a reasoned conviction order as required under law.
Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande, who earlier found him guilty on all the charges, pronounced the sentence in a packed courtroom in Mumbai.
His lawyers had pleaded for a lighter sentence, citing the actor's social work as well as heart and other medical issues.
Significantly, the court held that Salman was driving under the influence of alcohol and also did not have a driving license.
Salman Khan. Pic/Satyajit Desai
One person was killed and four others were injured on the night of September 28, 2002 in suburban Bandra when Salman's Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into a bakery.
The victims were sleeping on the pavement when the SUV ran over them.
Nurullah Mehboob Sharif was killed in the accident in which Kalim Mohammed Pathan, Munna Malai Khan, Abdullah Rauf Shaikh and Muslim Shaikh had been injured.
Charges against Salman Khan
The actor has been charged under IPC sections 304 part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) which attracts upto 10 years in prison; 279 (rash and negligent driving) which stipulates six months jail; 337 & 338 (causing hurt by act endangering life and causing grievous hurt respectively) with punishment up to two years, and 427 (mischief causing damage to property) with maximum punishment of upto two years.
Under Motor Vehicles Act, Khan has been charged under Sections 34(a), (b) read with 181 (driving vehicle in contravention of rules) and 185 (driving at great speed after consuming alcohol).
He has also been charged under provisions of Bombay Prohibition Act relating to driving under influence of alcohol which provides for maximum six months' jail.
"All charges against you are proved," said Judge DW Deshpande.
Also read: Rs 200 crore riding on Salman Khan
As the court delivered the verdict, Salman had tears in his eyes and stood silently in the dock.
After the conviction, his lawyer began arguments on quantum of punishment in the case. A tight security blanket was thrown around the court, where Salman's family including brothers Arbaaz, Sohail and sister Arpita Khan had arrived early this morning ahead of the verdict.
While the prosecution had insisted that a drunk Khan was driving the Land Cruiser, the actor had claimed that it was his driver Ashok Singh who was behind the wheel. Singh has endorsed the defence's claim.
The defence had also argued that police had not obtained finger prints from the steering wheel to find out who was driving the vehicle.
Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat has alleged that Khan was driving the vehicle after consuming 'Bacardi rum' at a bar, a charge denied by the actor, who said he had just a glass of water.
The court relied upon judgements in Alistair Pereira and Nikhil Nanda BMW case of Delhi while convicting Salman. It also asked what he had to say on the verdict to which he denied charges saying he was not driving the car at the time of mishap.
Salman, who was shooting in Kashmir for his film 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', returned to Mumbai on Monday for the verdict.
Salman's friends and family members - Arpita Khan Sharma, Alvira and Atul Agnihotri, Sohail Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Salim Khan and Baba Siddique - were present with him at Bombay Sessions Court to extend their support.
Last night, at Salman's home in Galaxy Apartments in Bandra, his family members were offering prayers. Shah Rukh Khan, with whom Salman buried the hatchet at Arpita's wedding, also paid him a visit. (Click here to read the full story). Apart from Shah Rukh, filmmakers David Dhawan and Sajid Nadiadwala dropped by his home.
His two upcoming films, 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' which stars Kareena Kapoor Khan and 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' opposite Sonam Kapoor, are currently in the last schedule of shooting.
After Sanjay Dutt, Salman is the second big star from Hindi film industry to get embroiled in a high-profile criminal case in recent years.
The 'Wanted' star is also facing trial in a Rajasthan court for hunting a black buck during the shooting of 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.
(With inputs from agencies)
Salman Khan's 2002 hit-and-run case timeline
Following is the chronology of events in the 2002 hit-and-run case in which actor Salman Khan was convicted by a Mumbai court today.
September 28, 2002: Salman's white-colour Toyota Land Cruiser crashes into American Express Bakery at Hill Road at Bandra, killing one person and injuring four others.
Sept 28: Salman's blood samples taken.
Sept 28: Salman arrested by Bandra Police, granted bail. October 1: Salman booked under provisions of IPC, Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949.
October 2002: Mumbai Police invokes section 304-II of IPC i.e culpable homicide not amounting to murder which attracts punishment of jail term of 10 years.
October 7, 2002: Salman surrenders again before Bandra Police, he is arrested.
October 21, 2002: Mumbai Police files charge sheet in Bandra magistrate court.
October 24, 2002: Salman granted bail.
March 2003: Salman challenges application of section 304-II of IPC in Mumbai sessions court.
May 2003: Sessions court rejects the plea, asks magistrate court to frame charges.
June 2003: Salman moves Bombay High Court, which opines that section 304-II of IPC not applicable in the case.
October 2003: Maharashtra government challenges Bombay HC order in Supreme Court.
December 2003: SC rules that the magistrate court may decide whether section 304-II of IPC could be applied.
October 2006: Magistrate frames charges against Salman Khan.
Oct 3, 2007: Police bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who filed the first FIR, dies of TB.
Oct 2011: Prosecution demands Salman Khan must be tried under harsher sections.
December 23, 2013: Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate V S Patil, after examining 17 witnesses, invokes charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder on the actor and refers case to Sessions Court for trial.
June 24, 2013: Sessions Court holds that culpable homicide charge is applicable, rejects Salman's appeal against the order of Magistrate.
April 27, 2014: Fresh trial begins in Sessions Court, first witness deposes.
July 24, 2014: Charges framed against Salman in fresh trial by Sessions Court.
July 2014: Files in the case disappear from Bandra Police Station. Original statements of 63 witnesses reported missing. Court orders inquiry.
September 12, 2014: Files found and produced before court.
Sept 2014: Pradeep Gharat appointed Special Public Prosecutor in this case.
March 25, 2015: Prosecution closes evidence after examining 24 witnesses.
Mar 27, 2015: Salman Khan's statement recorded under section 313 CrPC by Additional Sessions Judge D W Deshpande.
March 31: Salman's driver Ashok Singh examined as defence witness, says he was driving the car and not the actor.
April 1: Prosecution beings arguments.
Apr 10: Salman's lawyer begins arguments.
Apr 20: Arguments conclude.
Apr 21: Court says it would give judgement on May 6.
May 6: Court delivers verdict, Salman is convicted.