It's been so long, Salman

It's been so long, Salman

Bengaluru lawyers say the legal process is slower in the northern states, and the prosecution wasn't in a hurry either. It took 20 years for Salman Khan to be convicted in the blackbuck poaching case.

In October 1998, he went hunting in Rajasthan and killed two blackbucks. The verdict was pronounced by a court in Rajasthan on Thursday. Many in Bengaluru are asking the question: why did the case take 20 years?

MT Nanaiah, designated senior advocate in High Court of Karnataka, says the legal process is slow, especially in the northern states. Many undergoing trial have been in jail longer for than they would be if convicted, he told Metrolife.

"The defence counsel for Salman Khan was taking time, and unfortunately, the prosecutor was also sailing with him. This could be one of the main reasons for the delay," says Nanaiah.

Celebrity status may not come in the way of a speedy trial, he says. "An accused is an accused, irrespective of whether it is Salman Khan, Lalu Prasad Yadav or an auto driver. They cannot flaunt their position to run away from the clutches of law," he explains.

Hashmat Nabi, advocate practising in the Supreme Court, says trial courts are overburdened, and getting a date is not easy. "In such cases, many witnesses will have to be cross-examined," he observes.

Siji Malayil, Bengaluru-based criminal lawyer, says, "In such sensational matters, chances are high of the defence dragging the matter. In some cases, witnesses die during the trial."

He also points out that the various levels of investigation and rounds of litigation could add to the delay.

BOLLYWOOD REACTS

RESUL POOKUTTY, Indian sound designer and editor, who has worked with Salman Khan, says "People see the black buck as a part of their daily spiritual practice, so in that context, this is a very sensitive issue. The law has taken its course. But having said that, I personally don't think Salman is somebody who will do something like this because he is a very loving person. I have known him for a long time now. He is a painter, he has a keen eye for architecture and a sharp ear for music. So, an artist of his calibre would not be insensitive. It is hard to believe he would have done something like this."

POOJA CHOPRA, actor, says "I am glad it took so long. The delay could be because the court
didn't want anyone innocent to be punished. I would like to give our law the benefit of the
doubt. The court took its time to study and understand the case. When it comes to Salman, he has done a lot of good work and has a heart of gold. I have met him a couple of times and I must say he has been an absolute gentleman. I was both shocked and sad after I heard the news."

RAHUL DEV, actor, says "On a personal level, it is disappointing to hear the news but the decision of the court has to be upheld. I have worked with Salman and interacted with him on several occasions. It is natural one wouldn't want any harm to come to someone you
care about."

Actors who went to jail:

SANJAY DUTT

Sanjay Dutt's arrest following his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. He
was jailed for 16 months for illegal possession of firearms.

DARSHAN

Kannada superstar Darshan, was sent to jail for beating his wife Vijayalakshmi.

SOORAJ PANCHOLI

He was put behind bars for abetting ex-girlfriend Jiah Khan's suicide.

M R RADHA

Popular screen villain M R Radha was arrested for shooting at Tamil cinema's superstar M G Ramachandran.

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