Actor Salman Khan Found Guilty, ‘You Were Driving Car,’ Says Mumbai Judge

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SALMAN KHAN   convicted just now

Mumbai: Salman Khan has been held guilty in the 2002 hit-and-run case by  a Mumbai sessions court judge DW Deshpande.

Bollywood’s mega-star Salman Khan has been found guilty of drunkenly driving over men sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai 13 years ago. One man had died and four were injured. He is charged with culpable homicide, which carries a jail term of up to 10 years.

The crucial verdict in the 13-year-old case has apparently brought the entire Bollywood to a standstill

Salman has been pronounced guilty.

Judge DW Deshpande arrives in sessions court to deliver verdict.

Hearing in the case to begin in a few minutes.

Salman, family inside court room.

Salman’s brother Arbaaz and sisters – Alvira and Arpita, brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri and friend Baba Siddiqui too reach the court.Fans of Salman have gathered outside the sessions court.

Sessions Judge DW Deshpande to pronounce the verdict in the case.

Tight security arrangements have been made around Mumbai sessions court ahead of verdict involving the Bollywood superstar.

Salman Khan is reportedly being driven to the court for verdict by the driver who says he was driving the vehicle on the night of the accident

Brothers Sohail and Arbaaz accompany Salman to the sessions court.

Salman Khan has left his residence for the court.

Salman hugs his parents- Salman and Salim. He waves at the crowd waiting outside.

Salman’s friend and politician Baba Siddiqui reaches the actor’s residence.

The victim in this case has reportedly said he wants relief and not punishment for Salman Khan.

Sister Arpita took to Twitter a while back to write: “Today is a big day for us & we know we are not alone.Thank you for your Dua’s , love & support always. God bless !(sic)”.

Salman’s younger sister Arpita reaches her brother’s residence.

Salman’s sister Alvira reaches the actor’s residence.

The court proceedings are likely to begin at 11 am.

The actor is expected to leave for the court at 10.30 am.

Younger brother Sohail reaches Salman’s residence.

Fans of Salman offer their prayers with a hope that the verdict will announce the actor as innocent.

Salman and his father Salim went for a morning walk as they do regularly.

Close friends of the actor paid a visit to the actor last evening. The list included his arch rival Shah Rukh Khan. The actor spend over an hour-and-a-half at Salman’s home.

To express their love and support, fans and well-wishers of the actor have been trending #WeLoveYouSalmanKhan on Twitter.

Friends, family and fans of Salman Khan are eagerly waiting for the verdict in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

The story so far:

A judge will rule today whether Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was guilty of killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run crash after a night out drinking, before trying to get his driver to take the blame.

Khan, star of blockbusters such as ‘Dabangg’ (Fearless), is accused of driving his SUV into a group of homeless people sleeping near a Mumbai bakery after spending the evening in an upmarket bar, killing one of them.

If convicted of culpable homicide, the 49-year-old faces a lengthy spell behind bars, a verdict that would bring the career of one of the Indian movie industry`s biggest box-office draws to a shuddering halt.

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 action and romantic comedy star 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.

They also said that the victim, Nurulah Mahbob Sharif, was killed during an operation to move the car, rather than the crash itself, when the bumper fell off and landed on him.

Finally, last month, his driver took the stand and said he crashed after the front left tyre burst, making steering and braking difficult.

Khan, the son of a respected film writer, has starred in more than 100 films and television shows since his first hit “Maine Pyar Kiya” (I Fell in Love) in the 1980s.

But the body-building actor is no stranger to controversy off screen and in 1998 he spent more than a week in prison for killing endangered Indian gazelles.

Khan, who has never married, has also been in the news over the years, including for allegedly assaulting former Miss World and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai with whom he had a long relationship.

The verdict is being awaited with baited breath both by his fans and Bollywood studios who stand to lose millions of dollars if they have to cancel filming for movies he has been signed up to.

One report by the Press of Trust of India said more than $31 million was riding on the verdict.

If he were to be jailed, Khan would become the second big-name Bollywood actor to be imprisoned in the last two years. Sanjay Dutt, the star of a series of gangster movies, is currently behind bars over possession of weapons linked to several bombings in Mumbai in 1993.

(With AFP inputs)

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