Popular actor found guilty of homicide, sentenced to five years in prison
Khan was accused for killing a homeless man and four other people after his car run over them in Mumbai in September 2002.
He had argued that his driver was behind the wheel though the court’s findings negated his statement ruling that he was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.
Though Judge DW Deshpande found the actor guilty on the charge of culpable homicide, legal experts expect that he will appeal against the verdict.
The guilty verdict is a setback for Khan who is one of Bollywood's biggest stars having appeared in more than 80 Hindi-language films.
Several of his films, including Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun, have been huge commercial hits.
On Wednesday morning, as the actor drove to court with his family and friends, fans prayed for this acquittal.
"You were driving the car; you were under the influence of alcohol," the judge told the actor as soon as the court proceedings began.
Indian television channels reported the actor broke down inside court as the guilty verdict was announced.
Several of his Bollywood colleagues, among them actress Hema Malini, spoke out in his support and expressed their sympathies. Malini said she was praying for him and hoped he would escape with a light sentence.
If the actor is jailed, it will affect several big-ticket film projects he is involved in at the moment.
by Musalia Wycliffe
Source: BBC News
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