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.
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.
Timeline of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s 2002 hit-and-run case:
* May 6, 2015: Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande pronounces Salman Khan guilty in 2002 hit-and-run case; sentences him to five years in jail
Charges against Salman:
Indian Penal Code: Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) which attracts upto 10 years in prison; Section 279 (rash and negligent driving) which stipulates six months jail; Sections 337 & 338 (causing hurt by act endangering life & causing grievous hurt) with punishment upto two years; Section 427 (causing damage to property) with maximum punishment of upto two years
Motor Vehicles Act: Sections 34, 181 (driving vehicle in contravention of rules) and 185 (driving at great speed after consuming alcohol) with cancellation of driving license
Bombay Prohibition Act: Driving under influence of alcohol with maximum six months in jail
* April 20: Judge Deshpande sets date May 6, 2015 for verdict
Defence counsel Shrikant Shivade forcefully argues against prosecution charges and closes arguments
* March 25: Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat closed his case against Salman after examining 27 witnesses during the re-trial
* April 2014: First witness Samba Gowda deposes in the re-trial, which continues before the Sessions Court with regular hearings
* December 2013: Mumbai Sessions Court orders a fresh trial against the actor and recording of fresh evidence from all witnesses who had also deposed before the Metropolitan Magistrate court.
* July 23, 2013: Sessions court frames charges against Salman invoking the enhanced charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder
* June 24, 2013: Sessions court rejects Salman’s application, paving the way for applying the stringent section
* March 2013: Salman files a revision application with the Sessions Court challenging lower court order
* December 2012: Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court rules that a case has been made out under Sec. 304 and commits the trial to the Sessions Court
* March 2011: The prosecution seeks enhanced charges against Salman
* May 2007: Chemical analysis report suggested that Salman was drunk at the time of the accident
* October 2006: Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court frames charges against the actor under Section 304 of the IPC and other sections
* December 2003: In a breather for Salman, Supreme Court rules that the magistrate should, after perusal of all the evidence, decide whether to invoke harsher sections of IPC
* October 2003: State challenges in Supreme Court June 2003 Bombay High Court order that Section 304 is not applicable in this case
* May 2003: Court rejects Salman’s application and asks the magistrate court to frame charges under Section 304
* March 2003: Salman challenges the application of Section 304 in the Sessions Court
* October 24, 2002: Salman arrested for the second time; secures bail from Sessions Court
* October 21, 2002: The Bandra police file charge-sheet, slapping Section 304 on Salman
* September 28, 2002: Around 2 a.m. Salman Khan’s Toyota Land Cruiser rams into a roadside bakery in Bandra West, close to his Galaxy Apartments seafront home. Five people sleeping are injured, one of whom later dies
Later that afternoon, Salman arrested by Bandra police and enlarged on bail by a Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court