When celebrities turn villains

Hitting the bottle and the road: Salman was involved in a 2002 case
Last Updated 30 January 2010, 19:17 IST

Salman was involved in the hit-and-run case in Mumbai in 2002, in which one civilian was killed and two seriously injured.

Salman, returning home along with singer Kamaal Khan and his bodyguard Ravindra Patil, a constable in his Land Cruiser (MH01-DA 32) from the J W Marriott Hotel, ran over some pavement dwellers sleeping outside American Express Bakery in Bandra killing one Noor Ullah Khan (38) and injuring three others. He fled the scene and surrendered eight hours after the incident before the police. The actor was immediately let off on a bail of Rs 950.

The incident and the casual manner in which Salman obtained bail by paying just Rs 950 outraged public opinion. He was then charged with culpable homicide and sent behind bars for almost a fortnight.

However, the Bombay High Court dropped the charge, although it directed the actor to pay a hefty compensation to the victims, which Salman did.

He is now facing trial for rash and drunken driving in a metropolitan court, which is yet to conclude. In another case, Alistair Pereira, son of a prominent businessman was charged with running his car over seven people sleeping on a Bandra pavement at Carter Road on November 12, 2006. All of them died in the incident, while eight were injured.

The case went to a fast track court, which awarded him a six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs five lakh. But the court hit out at the “casual” probe into the case by the Mumbai police.

The state government went in appeal to the Bombay High Court which enhanced the punishment to three years, stating that Alistair “doesn’t deserve sympathy”, and that he was guilty of 304 (II) and 338. Under 304 (II), his sentence was enhanced while the fine of Rs 5 lakh imposed by the sessions court was confirmed.

The case of Sanjeev Nanda is equally prominent. The grandson of former Navy chief S M Nanda, 39-year old Sanjeev was convicted by a Delhi court for mowing down six persons, including three cops, near a petrol pump on Lodhi Road in a nine-year-old BMW hit-and-run case. He was convicted for culpable homicide under Section 304 (II) of the IPC.

During the trial, the case saw many twists and turns with an eyewitness, Manoj Malik, turning hostile and efforts being made to win over the families of the victims by offers of compensation. The trial court awarded Sanjeev a five-year jail term, but the Delhi High Court reduced it to two years.

Ashutosh Kaushik, the winner of two television reality shows, was sentenced to a day’s imprisonment for drunk driving by a metropolitan court in Andheri in June 2009. He was asked to pay a fine of Rs 3,100 and his driving licence was also cancelled for two years.

Manish Khatau, son of industrialist Mahendra Khatau, was speeding along Marine Drive on August 15, 2005, when he rammed his Ford Ikon car into a police barricade, seriously injuring a traffic constable.

He was charged with attempt to murder and preventing a public servant from performing his duty. However, the prosecution was unable to prove the charges and a fast track court acquitted Manish.

(Published 30 January 2010, 19:17 IST)

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