Mumbai: Actor Salman Khan was sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment in a 13-year-old hit-and-run case by a sessions court here on Wednesday. 

However, hours after the verdict, the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail for two days on the grounds that the final order with reasoning was not given to the convict. This came as a minor relief for the 49-year-old actor.

On September 28, 2002, Salman, in an inebriated condition, lost control of his SUV and rammed it onto the pavement near American Express Bakery in Bandra, killing one and injuring four others.

“You have been found guilty...All charges against you have been proved…Do you want to say anything,” said Additional Sessions Judge D W Deshpande as soon as the actor stepped into the witness box.

“I hold that you were driving the vehicle. You were intoxicated. I also do not agree with your plea that the person who died received fatal injuries after a crane dropped the car on the people underneath while removing it,” the judge said, rejecting the testimony of defence witness Ashok Singh, Salman’s family driver who claimed responsibility for the accident.

“I was not driving the car...But I respect your decision and accept it. My lawyer will speak on my zbehalf,” Salman told the court. Later, defence counsel Shrikant Shivade and special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat argued on the quantum of punishment.

After a brief adjournment, the judge said, “You are sentenced to five-years rigorous imprisonment.” 

Later, renowned Delhi-based counsel Harish Salve appeared before Justice Abhay Thipsay of the Bombay High Court, which granted Salman 2-day  interim bail. 

“The order could have been pronounced when the copy was ready. Why was the order pronounced today (Wednesday)? It should not have been delivered if the copy is not ready,” Justice Thipsay observed while granting bail.

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