India is a country which expresses freedom of thought and expression and other human rights which has acquired unique identity of India all over the world. It is the respect for human values through which India has attracted global attention, but at the same time it has also let to inordinate delay in dispensation of justice which has been questioned.
India is referred in the list of countries where no legal battle is decided in less than 10 years or perhaps more than that which itself has put question on the functions of the judicial system. This has been corroborated with the hit and rum case of actor Salman Khan who was involved. The Sessions Court in Mumbai held him guilty of culpable homicide on May, 6th 2015 and sentenced him to 5 years of imprisonment and fine of Rs. 25,000/- , 13 years after the incident which happened in the year 2002. In the case, a Toyata land Rover, owned by him ran over 5 people who were sleeping on the pavement in Bandra on September 28, 2002 which left one man dead and other four injured.
On the same day the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay granted the actor interim bail until 8th May 2015. Newspaper editorial devoted at least a half column lauding equality before law as a lodestone of democracy. But at the same time, all lamented the tardiness of law. They wanted to know whether it takes 13 years to judge who was driving the car and whether or not Salman Khan was under the influence of alchol. This delay is not seen for the first time and it has become vogue for all the cases present and past particularly those concerning the rich and the influential. Those having amole cases are the examples of cases against sedition by politician and industrialists, cases related disproportionate assets, rioting and others. So far as Bollywood is concerned it is one of the high profile case after the Sanjay Dutt case who is supposed to be languishing behind bars.
The case is not important because it involved Salman Khan but it showed the delay our judicial system is facing in giving justice. By the time a judgment comes out people forget what has actually happened. Salman Khan was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and arrested and thereafter granted bail on October 2002. The Court on May 2003 rejected the plea to drop culpable homicide charges, but in June Hon’ble Bombay High Court dropped culpable homicide charges and tried Salman Khan was rash and negligent driving. In March 2015, Salman stated in the court that he was not drunk and his driver was behind the wheel. On May 6, 2015 he was found guilty by the court and awarded five years jail term. This time Court appeared to be convined by the evidence put forward by prosecution that Salman was driving the vehicle, the authenticity of the test showed that he had time the amount of alcohol in his blood stream at the time of the accident, and that the actor did not possess a valid driving license when the accident took place.
In the lead up to the final verdict, the prosecution has demanded a maximum punishment of ten years and prayed to the Court that deterrence and correction were important factors in awarding sentence to the famous actor.