The long arm of the law has at last caught up with Salman Khan, albeit after thirteen long years. The trial court has handed down a verdict of guilty — that the celebrity actor was drunk while driving his powerful SUV on the fateful night of September 28 in 2002, when he ran over victims sleeping on a Mumbai pavement. One victim died while four others were injured. The quantum of punishment for Salman is 5 years in jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Salman’s battery of high-profile lawyers tried their utmost to get him off the hook, but his late bodyguard’s testimony that the actor was driving rashly under the influence of alcohol and had paid no heed to the bodyguard’s warnings — filly helped the prosecution win the day. The defence even tried to draw the court’s attention to Salman’s charity work, but to no avail. There is now much dismay in Bollywood with around Rs 200 crores riding on Salman’s films, but then that is neither here nor there. The actor has a history of unruly behaviour and is undergoing trial in another case at a Jodhpur court on charges of illegal possession and use of firearms in hunting blackbucks, a protected animal. Salman thus follows in the footsteps of Sanjay Dutt, jailed for five years for illegal possession of firearms in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. For far too long, politicians, celebrities and people in high places have broken the law with impunity and made a mockery of the judicial process. Large parts of the country’s administration may have sold itself out, so it is upon the courts common people are pinning their last hopes upon for justice to prevail.
Just desserts for Salman