Bollywood star jailed for five years over hit-and-run

Salman Khan freed on bail until May 8, hours after being sentenced to five years for fatal hit-and-run.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan has repeatedly denied that he was behind the wheel [AP]

Indian movie star Salman Khan has been sentenced to five years in jail for killing a homeless man and injuring four others in a 2002 hit-and-run case.

Mumbai’s High Court found Khan guilty of culpable homicide and other charges on Wednesday for driving his Land Cruiser into a group of homeless men sleeping on a sidewalk in suburban Mumbai.

Khan was also given separate terms for negligent driving and causing grievous harm to the victims, but was told that all the sentences would run concurrently.

His lawyers had argued for a more lenient sentence, citing Khan’s “medical condition.” No details were immediately available on the nature of Khan’s medical complaint.

Khan’s lawyers later appealed the sentence and he was granted interm-bail for 48-hours. The appeal will be heard on Friday, the Times Now television channel reported.

In a case that has dragged for more than 12 years, the prosecution told the court that Khan was drunk when he rammed his Toyota Landcruiser into the group of people sleeping on a pavement in September 2002.

Khan has repeatedly denied that he was behind the wheel. In April, his driver Ashok Singh told the court that he was driving and lost control of the SUV when one of its tires burst.

But Judge Deshpande dismissed the actor’s claim and accused him of driving the car under the influence of alcohol and then fleeing.

Khan also faces trial in a separate case for allegedly killing two rare deer in a western India wildlife preserve 16 years ago.

One of Bollywood’s most popular stars, Khan has appeared in more than 90 Hindi-language films in his 27-year career.

Source: News Agencies