After an arduous 13 years, Salman Khan, his family and his beloved fans finally breathed a collective sigh of relief today as the actor was acquitted of all charges held against him in the hit and run case that has been going on ever since September 2002.
The Bombay High Court said on Thursday that Salman Khan will not be convicted in the 2002 hit and run case while pronouncing its verdict on the actor’s appeal to overturn a sessions court judgment in May that held him guilty and handed out a five-year jail term.
The court said that the evidence admitted by the trial court is not effective according to principles of jurisprudence. Hence, in the same spirit, the 49-year-old actor has been acquitted of all the charges he was convicted of in May.
The actor, who was present in the court when the order was read out, looked visibly relieved and emotional as he broke down after listening to the verdict that has finally given him the closure he’s been waiting for. After the verdict Salman bowed his head as he took a moment to himself to let it sink in before he hugged his sister, Alvira, who couldn’t stop smiling. He was seen mingling with his family members Alvira, brother-in-law Ayush and his personal body guard Shera.
The courts have observed that the prosecution wasn’t able to prove or come up with reliable evidence that Salman Khan had been in an inebriated state on the night of the accident or driving his Toyota Land Cruiser when the accident occurred, that is said to have killed one and severely injured four others who were sleeping on a footpath on the streets of Bandra.
Justice Joshi is no less than a Messiah for Khan, as he stated that the testimony of police constable Ravindra Patil was dubious and couldn’t be relied upon. Patil, who was the sole witness, died of tuberculosis in 2007. Before his demise, he had given a statement against Salman, which he later retracted. In his initial statement he did not claim that the actor was drunk, however he changed his statement after a blood sample report that had come to light during the proceedings. Patil’s tendency to vacillate is what led the court to deem his testimonies as unreliable and dubious.
— Times of India (@timesofindia) December 10, 2015
The Internet and social media feeds have been brimming with reactions of people; who are either in favour or against the ruling. There is a strong sentiment of outrage against the ruling by some who feel that Salman has been let off the hook due to his star status. People have gone on to say that the judiciary has followed the depressing Indian trend of acquitting the rich and influential.
Contrasting to these views there are also people who believe that Salman was just paying the price of being a star and celebrity. His fans have gone hammer and tongs trying to make people empathize with the star who is known for his humanitarian deeds and philanthropy. They have supported him through thick and thin and are over the moon with the verdict.
All said and done, we can only hope that the courts and judiciary have given this ruling after thorough consideration and keeping the ethics of a just and equal society in mind, for no one should be kept above the law, not even our dear Bhaijaan!