Salman Khan found guilty in Mumbai hit and run case

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MUMBAI: A Mumbai court found Bollywood superstar Salman Khan guilty of a hit and run case in 2002 in which a man was crushed to death under the wheels of his car and another was injured, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

The court found Salman Khan guilty of culpable homicide under section 304 of the Indian criminal law. He can be handed 10-year term in jail.

Khan was seen weeping in the courtroom when the judge announced guilty verdict against him.

Salman’s brothers Sohail Khan, Arbaz Khan and brother in law Atul Agnihotri were also present inside the courtroom where Judge WW Deshpande ruled the filmstar guilty of killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run car crash.

Khan, star of score of Bollywood blockbusters was earlier accused of driving his car into a group of homeless people sleeping near a Mumbai bakery after spending the evening at an upmarket bar, killing one of them.

A string of prosecution witnesses, including survivors of the crash, have testified that Khan was at the wheel when his vehicle crashed at speed into a group of half a dozen men sleeping on the street in September 2002.

The trial began in earnest last year after a series of court hearings and legal hold-ups.

When Khan finally took the stand, he pleaded not guilty and told the court that his driver was responsible for mounting the pavement in the upmarket suburb of Bandra West.

A constable attached to Khan’s security detail said in his statement to police that the drunk actor lost control of the car while driving at about 90 kilometres (55 miles) an hour.

“The people were sleeping on the footpath. Salman and (his cousin) Kamaal ran away from the spot,” the constable, who died in 2007 of tuberculosis, said.

One of the sleeping labourers injured in the accident said in his statement that “Salman was so drunk he fell. He stood but he fell again and then he… ran away.”

But Khan’s lawyers said the actor had in fact been drinking water all evening and had climbed out of the driver’s seat after the accident because the passenger side door had been damaged.

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