Accident case: Rs.200 crore riding on Salman, but industry not worried

New Delhi: After a lot of twists and turns in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving superstar Salman Khan, the verdict in the high profile case will be delivered today.

A not guilty verdict will help him bounce back. But even if Salman is held guilty by a sessions court, the film industry does not seem to be too anxious, despite over Rs.200 crore riding on him.

The is the slow legal processes in India.

Industry expert Amod Mehra said that no one can imagine Salman being soon lodged behind bars.

“There is no panic in the film industry or in anybody’s mind, thanks to the laws in India. It is because we all are very clear that there are other ways to come out as well like bail. So there is no question of panicking over his arrest as of now,” Mehra told IANS.

On the same note, another trade expert, Vinod Mirani said that even if he is sentenced by the court, Salman is unlikely to be sent to jail soon.

“If the decision is not in his favour, he will appeal to a higher court. Nobody goes to jail so fast. He will appeal and then that court will undertake proceedings of the case which will take time,” Mirani told IANS.

The “Wanted” actor has been facing trial for 13 years in the Bandra accident case. In the early hours of September 28, 2002, an SUV drove over the pavement where some people were sleeping, killing one person and ijuring four others. Salman is the main accused in the accident and a Mumbai Sessions Court is schedule to pronounce its verdict on Wednesday.

A glance at his professional assignments show Salman is gearing up for several offerings at the box office this year. Two of his much-anticipated films — “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” and “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” are nearing completion.

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, which also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, is about a Brahmin girl and Muslim boy, while the “Dabangg” star will be seen revisiting his popular cinema name ‘Prem’ in Sonam Kapoor starrer family entertainer.

“The total cost of the two films would be around Rs. 200 crore plus. So that is the amount riding on him at present,” Mehra said.

If rumoured projects like Anees Bazmee’s “No Entry” sequel and “Kick” sequel are taken into account, the figures will shoot up. But Mirani asserts that there is no cause to worry as of now.

“It takes a lot of time to send somebody to jail. It can even take ten years,” Mirani said.

Citing actor Sanjay Dutt’s example, where the actor was sent to prison after several years, Mehra said “nothing serious will happen immediately”.

He said it will take about 10-15 years for Salman to go behind bars till then he will be over 60 years old,” Mehra said.

Sanjay Dutt is in jail for illegal possession of arms during the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and riots.

The film industry may not worry, but if industry reports are true, 49-year-old Salman has not been accepting any new projects till the verdict is pronounced.

The trouble for the actor, who enjoys wide female fan following with his dance moves and witty one-liners, will not be overwith the accident case.

The dark clouds of Blackbuck case is still hovering over him. The actor is facing trial for hunting a black buck during the shooting of “Hum Saath Saath Hain” in 1998.

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