The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to actor Salman Khan just hours after a Sessions court convicted him to 5 years in jail.
The Sessions Court's verdict came after a 13 year trial in a 2002 hit-and-run case, in which the court found that Khan was driving intoxicated when he drove into a Mumbai bakery, killing one person and injuring four others.
Reading out the judgement, Justice D W Deshpande said the court has found that Salman was infact driving the car under the influence of alcohol and all charges against him were proved. The court denied him bail and said he would have to approach the Bombay High Court for it.
While the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under IPC sections 304 part II attracts maximum 10 years imprisonment, Khan's lawyers had argued for a lighter sentence of 2 years accompanied with a fine in the light of his philanthropic works. Meanwhile, the prosecution had sought the maximum sentence of 10 years arguing that this would act as a deterrent for the society.
The Judge also observed that Salman Khan was driving without a licence, thus rejecting his defense of not driving the car. Salman Khan's driver Ashok Singh had testified in the court a few months back, accepting the blame for the accident which the court has rejected.
During the trial, a police constable who was travelling with Salman Khan as part of his security detail said in his statement to police that the drunk actor lost control of the car while driving at about 90 km an hour. The constable died in 2007 due to tuberculosis. This statement seems to have nailed the actor's fate with the court accepting the statement over Ashok Singh's statement that Khan was not driving the car.
Salman returned from Jammu and Kashmir on Monday where he had been shooting for his home production 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' which is due to release in July.