Salman Khan Convicted After 13 Years but Not Jailed

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The hit and run case of Salman Khan has finally received a verdict. A few years ago Salman Khan mowed down some unknown persons while they were sleeping in the footpath. He was not only drunk, but was driving his car at a high speed. Although the victimized persons lodged a case against the famous actor long ago, the verdicts came out recently. The sessions court announced a punishment of five years to the 49-year-old actor, but the lawyers of the famous Bollywood actor took only a few hours to bail him out of jail. It basically created an amazing record of three convictions and six days of jail.

Drunk driving and hitting a few people on the streets is like a recurring mistake that he does often. Salman Khan had been convicted in earlier cases, but was out on bail within days; the latest conviction lifted the total count to three convictions. He was behind the bars for only six days, thanks to his power, money and team of expensive lawyers.

Salman Khan ran over five persons sleeping on the footpath in West Bandra thirteen years ago. Although justice was finally delivered by the judiciary, it was members of the judiciary who bailed him out within hours. Salman Khan’s victims have been trying to receive justice and put the actor behind bars, but to no avail. This is especially important since a same day conviction and bail is quite rare. There are thousands of people with cases similar to the Bollywood actor who have served more than five years in jail.

According to statistics, there are over 2.7 prisoners in India who are simply sitting behind bars because they do not have the money to secure bail. The Mumbai High Court grants bail to Salman Khan because after an appeal, the judiciary is supposed to give bail, so that the person (in case he/she is innocent) does not suffer unnecessarily. However, this rule of law is only enjoyed by privileged persons like Salman Khan. Indian democracy works pretty well when it comes to delivering justice to criminals, but there are certain loopholes through which powerful people are able to use in order to gain release. This is something which has to be corrected, especially if democracy is to work in an efficient way.

A few years ago, a report by a Hindu newspaper suggested that there are over 75 percent under-trail prisoners in India. The figures and facts advance that either the law needs to change or the disparity and injustice towards the weak needs to change. For the last few days, Indian social media has been buzzing with this issue, and supporters of Salman Khan have been posting the good deeds of the actor to pacify the situation.

The charity work of Salman Khan does have a few feathers in its cap. There are many people who have received personal favors from Salman Khan. whether professional or personal, he has really helped people through his money and power. There is an Organization, ‘Being Human,’ which has a philanthropic purpose in two fields, education and healthcare. Recently, the Being Human Foundation, which is the brain child of the famous actor, donated money for Nepal Earthquake victims. During the Jammu and Kashmir Flood, the 49-year-old actor donated fifty lakh rupees for the rehabilitation of the survivors. Moreover, Salman Khan donated a significant amount of money to educational foundations like the Akshara Foundations which helps to subsidize the education of many under-privileged children.

Nonetheless, even though scores of rupees have been put to good work by the 49-year-old actor, it does not change the fact that he killed a person and injured 4 others on a footpath due to drunk driving. It does not change the fact that he shot at a Blackbuck Antilope and even received a conviction in the case, and yet has managed to avoid punishment in these cases.

Good deeds do not preclude a good life. Charity does not give anyone the right to commit crimes. The way of a reckless life should not be covered up by the generous works of a person, however, the punishment can be softened.

In supporting Salman Khan, some of the fans have forgotten the basic humanity of “being human.” Questions like why should people sleep on the footpath and why should Salman Khan alone face trial when there are thousands of other offenders in the country, have grabbed attention. One should not forget that India is still a country which has 20.6 percent of the world’s poorest people. It still has many people who cannot afford to eat twice a day!

One should keep the Bollywood sentiments under wraps, so as not to become inhuman in supporting a person. It is absolutely fine to support a person of one’s choosing, but as soon as it starts hurting the sentiments of other people, the line should be drawn. After 13 years, once again, Salman Khan has been convicted but not jailed.

Opinion By Sunando Basu

Firstpost: Hit and run affirms Salman Khan amazing record Three convictions six days in jail
One India: Has justice really been delivered in Salman Khan hit-n-run case
Huffington Post: Salman Khan Ran For 13 Years Says Hit-And-Run Survivor In Viral Facebook Post

Photo Courtesy of S Pakhrin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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