HC grants 2-day bail to Salman Khan after lower court sentences him to 5-year jail

Bollywood actor Salman Khan The Bombay High Court today granted a 2-day bail for Bollywood actor Salman Khan hours after he was sentenced to five years in jail by a sessions court for accidentally killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run crash.

Twelve years after the actor in a drunken state ran his car over poor homeless people sleeping on the footpaths, sessions court judge DW Deshpande today implicated him in all the charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Khan, 49, who was taken into custody after the sentencing, will walk free for at least two more days now.

The judge said Khan was driving the car at the time of the accident and the defence's contention that his driver Ashok Singh was at the wheel was not probable.

''You were driving the car without a licence and you were under the influence of alcohol," Deshpande told Khan in a courtroom packed with Khan's family members and journalists.

Khan ran his Toyota Land Cruiser over five persons sleeping on a pavement outside a bakery in Bandra on 28 September 2002, killing one and injuring four. He was under the influence of alcohol at that time.

Khan broke down on hearing the verdict and his family members too were upset.

Khan's lawyer sought a lesser sentence in view of his humanitarian work. He said the actor had paid Rs19 lakh as compensation to the victims and would do more if ordered.

''We are not running away from responsibility,'' the counsel said. Khan himself pleaded with the judge for a lesser sentence.

The prosecution sought the maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.