Bollywood star Salman Khan gets five years in prison for hit-and-run

Wed May 6, 2015 11:15am EDT
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - An Indian court sentenced Bollywood film star Salman Khan on Wednesday to five years in prison for killing a man in a hit-and-run accident, the latest twist in the tumultuous career of one of the country's biggest box-office draws.

The district criminal court's order drove down shares of firms connected to the actor and, if upheld, will derail major projects in the pipeline of what is the world's most prolific movie industry.

Khan later secured two days of interim bail from Mumbai's high court and will return to court on Friday for a hearing on having the bail extended.

The criminal court convicted Khan, 49, of culpable homicide on charges that he lost control of his white Toyota Landcruiser when driving under the influence of alcohol in 2002, and rammed into a group of people sleeping on a pavement.

Khan, instantly recognizable by his muscular build, denied being behind the wheel, contradicting the testimony of several witnesses. In March, the actor's driver said he had driven, while Khan rode in the passenger seat.

In his verdict, Judge D.W. Deshpande said Khan had in fact been driving the car.

"Finally, justice has been done," said senior lawyer Abha Singh, a petitioner in the case. "The law has been upheld."

The decision dispelled the idea that India is a country where people with money and power can commit murder and get away with it, Singh added.   Continued...

Bollywood actor Salman Khan sits in a car as he leaves a court in Mumbai, India, May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade