Salman Khan Guilty in Hit and Run Case
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been found guilty of killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run driving incident in Mumbai, an Indian court has ruled.
The man was among five people who were run over in the incident.
Salman Khan was charged with culpable homicide.
The actor had said his driver was behind the wheel, but the judge said Salman Khan was driving the car and was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
His sentence is still to be announced. Salman Khan faces up to 10 years in jail.
Legal experts say Salman Khan is bound to appeal against the verdict and the case is likely to go on for many more years.
According to correspondents, Wednesday’s guilty verdict is a huge setback for Salman Khan who is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, appearing in more than 80 Hindi-language movies.
Several of his movies, including Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun, have been huge commercial hits.
On May 6th, as Salman Khan drove to court with his family and friends, fans prayed for the actor’s acquittal.
But Judge DW Deshpande found him guilty on the charge of culpable homicide.
If the actor is jailed, it will affect several big-ticket film projects he is involved in at the moment.
The case has gripped Bollywood and India for years.
Late on the night of September 28, 2002, Salman Khan’s Toyota Land Cruiser hit the American Express bakery in the Bandra area of Mumbai, authorities say.
Salman Khan’s car ran over five people sleeping on the street, killing 38-year-old Noor Ullah Khan and seriously injuring three others. Another person received minor injuries.
The prosecution alleged that Salman Khan had been driving the car while drunk, both of which charges the actor denied in court in March.
But many witnesses disagreed.
A constable attached to Salman Khan’s security detail said in a statement to the police that the “drunk” actor had lost control of the car. The policeman died in 2007 of tuberculosis.
In April, Salman Khan’s driver told the court that he had crashed the car after a tyre burst but the court did not accept that version.