Bombay HC gives relief to Salman, extends stay on TV program

Salman has been having a tough time for last few months now. His last released film ‘Jai Ho’ was expected to be a blockbuster but it did not fare according to the expectations at the box office. This was especially uncomfortable for Salman because rival SRK’s film ‘Chennai Express’ was much more successful and so was Aamir Khan’s ‘Dhoom 3’.

Just when Salman was concentrating on his next release ‘Kick’, another shocker came. The key witnesses of Salman’s decades old notorious hit and run case identified the actor in court. The actor was also present in court during the hearings. If the charges of culpable homicide are proved against him, Salman may land in jail for up to ten years. To add to his discomfort, a private news channel began airing a show based on the infamous hit and run case.

The actor had filed an application in court and claimed that the show is trying to "dramatise and sensationalize” the case. The court had first issued a stay order on the show’s telecast till 30th May. Last Monday the matter came up in front of the court once again and Judge SC Gupte, after hearing Salman’s counsels, extended the stay on the show till further orders. The judge made the observation, "the interest of justice would be served if the plaintiff (Salman) was asked to renew his application on June 2 with a fresh notice to the defendants."

The content from the first episode of the program that was telecasted on 21st May was submitted to the court during the hearing.  Salman's counsels had argued that the contents of the show are defamatory and would influence/prejudice both in public perception and the case’s outcome.  The judge also barred the channel from sharing any content on its website. The channel had been served a notice but no one turned up on the channel’s behalf.

Salman allegedly drove his car over a group of people who were sleeping on the pavement on a December night in 2002. One person died and four were seriously injured. The case is in a critical juncture. Key witnesses in the case have recently identified Salman as the person driving the car that night. The film industry is eagerly observing the developments of the case. Film producers are scared about Salman’s future because projects worth around Rs 500 crores are riding on him. If he faces punishment, producers will be facing huge loss too.