Editor’s Comment: Does Salman Khan Deserve To Be Convicted?
In what came as a shock to millions of people across the globe this morning (6 May 2015), superstar Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in jail for a 2002 hit-and-run accident that left one man dead and four others injured in Mumbai.
Additional Sessions Judge D.W. Deshpande announced the verdict in a packed courtroom stunning his family members and sending shockwaves throughout the film fraternity, many of whom took to Twitter to express their concerns and condolences for the troubled superstar.
Khan who is one of the biggest stars India has ever produced and is renown world over is not a stranger to controversy but by and by this rather delayed verdict has left a big question mark on the future of the actor’s career in Bollywood, with currently at least Rs.300 crore (in excess of £30m) riding on his future projects, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.
Lawyer Abha Singh said justice had finally been done.
"I am very happy," she told the media. "Justice has been done. The law has been upheld."
She said the long delay had given the impression that the rich could get away with murder in India, and that the moneyed were above the law.
Whilst she raises a pertinent point, that of the uniformity of justice for all, the point of debate here is whether the sentence doled out to the magnanimous star should have been as extreme as five years. Agreed that a man lost his life in the process, but since the incident Khan has pretty much done a 360 degree U-Turn from his rebellious bad boy days by going all out for his humanitarian work for his charity Being Human.
What’s more how can one trust a judicial system that takes a whopping thirteen years to dole out a sentence when politicians, rapists and terrorists who have indirectly been responsible for thousands of lives get away with much less, or aren’t sentenced at all?
I am in no way condoning Khan’s irrational behaviour and the way in which his driver suddenly emerged to take the fall for the star just a few weeks ago is highly dubious, but to drag down a man who undoubtedly was repenting his past misdoings through his charity and seemed to have mellowed considerably, the sentence does undoubtedly seem a little extreme. Then again, one could argue that it was a case of a third strike for the star with a tumultuous past (alleged violence against ladylove Aishwarya Rai, or the killing of protected black bucks in Rajasthan to name a few of his past offences).
What’s your take? Did Salman Khan have it coming? Let us know in the comments section below!
Gallery: Salman Khan At Court – 6 May 2015