Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who enjoys a massive fan following in all corners of the world, has always been controversy’s favorite child. But none of the controversies cost him as much as the 2002 high profile hit-and-run case did. For the uninitiated, on September 28, 2002, a white-color Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into men sleeping on a pavement outside American Express Bakery at Bandra. Khan was at the driver’s seat, as reported in the media. The accident claimed one innocent life, leaving four people seriously injured. Khan was later taken into custody, but released on bail. In October the same year, Mumbai Police invoked Section 304-II of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) following which the actor surrendered and was arrested. But less than three weeks later, he walked out on bail once again. In March 2003, Khan challenged the application of Section 304-II in a sessions court but was disappointed when the court rejected his plea. But the actor did not give up and moved to Bombay High Court. Much to his respite, the High Court said Section 304-II was not applicable in the case. That October, the Maharashtra government moved Supreme Court which, two months later, said the magistrate court should decide whether the relevant section could be applied or not. In 2013, nine years after Supreme Court’s decision in the case, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate V S Patil, slapped the charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ on the actor and referred the case to Sessions Court for trial. The sessions court in July 2013, framed charges against Salman for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Soon, the actor pleaded for a fresh trial. His plea was heard and, in December the same year, a fresh trial was ordered.
The trial court found the actor guilty and, in May 2016, sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment. The Bombay High Court took up the case for hearing in July following which Salman was acquitted in December for lack of evidence. Following that the Maharashtra government challenged the decision in Supreme Court. But the case has not been opened in the apex court as yet.
Failed Relationship with Aishwarya Rai
Salman Khan’s torrid love affair with the former beauty queen and actress Aishwarya Rai was much talked about topic which became a fodder for the gossip mills. After their relationship went kaput in March 2002, Rai accused the actor of harassing and misbehaving with her. Her parents even lodged a complaint against Khan. In 2005, a copy of a mobile phone recorded in 2001 by the Mumbai police surfaced in which it could be heard that Salman was forcing Aishwarya to put an appearance at events organized by some high profile disreputable people. However, when the alleged tape was sent to the government’s Forensic lab in Chandigarh for test, it turned out to be fake.
Blackbuck Hunting Case
On September 26, 1998, Salman Khan was accused of hunting two Chinkaras, an endangered animal accorded the highest protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife protection Act 1972, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, during the shoot of Sooraj Barjatya’s ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’. Two days later, he was again accused of hunting another Chinkara in Jodhpur. The next month, the Bishnoi community of Jodhpur filed a case against the actor and, within ten days of lodging of the case, Salman was taken into custody and released on bail in next five days. In 2006, Khan was convicted by the trial court and sentenced jail term of one and five years respectively for allegedly poaching three Chinkaras in two separate instances. However, in January, 2017, Justice Nirmaljeet Kaur acquitted the actor in both the cases.