MUMBAI: Salman Khan is not only the ‘Tiger’ of Bollywood, but even the court of law seems to bend in his favour. For the superstar actor has been let off from appearing in court a whopping 83 times in the past decade!
His 2002 hit-and-run case is still being tried in the court of law, but Salman Khan has been exempted from appearing in court an incredible 83 times over the last 10 years.
On December 26, reports surfaced that the Bandra police had failed to serve him the court summons. This despite the superstar living it up at a high-profile party hosted by businessman Sunny Dewan. Interestingly, Special Inspector General of Police Parambir Singh was also present at the same party. Salman has also been punctual and reporting on the sets of ‘Bigg Boss’, the reality TV show he hosts.
Further, Salman Khan was exempted from appearing in court on his birthday on December 27. On that day, his family, including sisters Alvira and Arpita and his lawyer Dipesh Mehta filled in for him.
These shocking statistics emerged after a court petition was filed by Santosh Daundkar asking about the inordinate delay in the case proceedings. The petition reads, ‘The Salman hit-and-run case happened in 2002 but the trial in this case is still far to end, even though more than 10 years have elapsed and 90 court hearings have taken place’.
Daundkar’s petition further places blame on the Mumbai police of abetting the star’s evasion of the law: ‘It is the generosity of the Mumbai police which has helped Salman evade the powerful clutches of the law for so long… A perusal of the roznama (record of daily proceedings) of the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bandra reveals a startling story of how Mumbai police has indulged in nepotistic acts in ensuring that the trial of Salman Khan gets delayed. It is precisely because of this nexus that 10 years have passed but the end of the trial is still far away’.
On June 10 2005, the Bombay High Court had granted reprieve to Salman by exempting him from making personal appearances in court, but conferred the authority to summon the star if necessary, upon the trial court. Seemingly, Salman Khan has been making the use of this order to avoid making appearances in court.
Amit Nalawade, a noted criminal lawyer said, “Salman Khan is getting the unfair advantage of such exemption. It was the duty of the Mumbai police to have moved the appropriate court to get the exemption order cancelled.”
What do the police have to say about these findings?
“Whether the accused appears in court or doesn’t is not the lookout of the police. This is concern of the court and concerned lawyers. The court should issue notice to Salman Khan,” a police officer said, on condition of anonymity. Salman’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.