Update: BBC News informs that Salman Khan has been sentenced to 5 years in jail. Legal experts expect him to appeal against the verdict.
The court hearing Bollywood’s superstar Slamn Khan’s case of hit-and-run finally reached a conclusion today. The actor was found guilty of all the charges including that of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The news is a shocker Indi-wide and abroad with millions of his fans. So who lost what in this case?
Salman obviously lost his court battle, at least in this court, and is likely to lose money on his in-making film projects. But his greatest loss is his face – an on-screen hero now declared a convict, who not only killed a homeless man and injured others by running them over but also fleeing the crime scene and refusing to accept that he was behind the wheel. Additionally, his attempt to offer compensation for a lesser prison term takes a heavy chunk away from his integrity.
The judicial system of India came out ultimately as reliable in this high-profile case, although the time it took the case (over 12 years) casts a shadow on its efficiency and commitment to timely delivery of justice. Still, the court seems to have heard and considered all available evidence and allowed probe into reported information that went missing – as was the case with police documents that kept going missing in the case. By the same token, the police have shown their lousy side – whether by intent or circumstance – in losing important evidence that hindered the process of delivering justice.
And last, but not the least, mainstream media showed its usual sick face by continuing to focus on the actor, his films, the feelings and thoughts of his family and friends, and his best possible shorts and videos littered all over the space. The poor and homeless man killed was never in the spotlight – so much so that most media never even mentioned his name. he was always mentioned in a single sentence and referred to as “a homeless man”. People weren’t introduced to his family, how his death affected them, how they coped with this loss. That is how media makes sure a victim stays a victim and a celeb stays a celeb.
Salman Khan is expected to be sentenced today and could face a prison term of up to 10 years. He is always being tried for poaching and possessing illegal weapons in other courts. In his case, as in other “stars”, justice is definitely delayed, but may be not denied altogether.