The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday acquitted Bollywood star Salman Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case, quashing a trial court verdict that held him guilty of driving his Toyota Land Cruiser over people sleeping on the Bandra footpath.
The Bombay HC Justice AR Joshi said the 49-year-old actor cannot be convicted because the prosecution has failed to prove the charges against the actor on all of drunk driving and absconding from the accident scene.
The actor had appealed against the sessions court’s May order that delivered a five-year jail sentence after convicting him of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for running over five people on a pavement, in Bandra West on September 28, 2002. Though the driver took the blame upon himself saying that he was driving the car that night, the confession was dismissed as 13 years too late.
Salman Khan arrived wearing a blue chequered shirt sharp at 1.30 pm to receive the Bombay High Court’s verdict in the 2002 hit and run case. The superstar drove all the way from ND studio at Karjat where he was shooting for his upcoming movie ‘Sultan’.
Salman Khan got overwhelmed and had tears in his eyes when judge announced acquitted. Sister Alvira and manager Reshma Shetty broke down in tears once the verdict was read.
He left the courtroom after the judge directed him to furnish a fresh surety bond of Rs 25,000 and asked police to return his passport.
Ecstatic Salman fans even created ruckus inside the court by standing on chairs and cheering Salman Khan, while he was completing the documentation. Several Bollywood celebrities welcomed the Bombay High Court verdict in the 2002-hit-and-run case and felt happy that the actor’s long legal ordeal today in exoneration.
Welcoming Salman Khan’s acquittal, the popular actor Shahrukh Khan expressed his happiness, saying “At a personal level without getting into anything generic or bigger, he is our friend and colleague. I have known him for years now. So if there is anything happening nice for him then we feel happy. So on that level yes we are happy and in whichever way the judgement has gone is positive for him so we feel happy for him”.