oppn parties Salman Khan: The Law Is A Great Leveler

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Salman Khan: The Law Is A Great Leveler

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Jodhpur District Judge Devkumar Khatri has found actor Salman Khan guilty of killing a protected species of black buck in 1998. He has been fined Rs 10000 and sentenced to 5 years in prison. The other accused in the case, actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu, have been acquitted. Salman can appeal against this order. Meanwhile, he has been sent to Jodhpur Central jail. His bail application will most likely be heard tomorrow.

With this, all cases in the infamous poaching case of 1998 have been decided. In the earlier two cases, while the trail court had found the actor guilty, the verdict was overturned by the Rajasthan High Court. In this case too, Salman’s lawyers have been arguing that no bullet was found on the dead bucks. They have also alleged that the prosecution had resorted to various malpractices in trying to prove their case. All these matters will be argued in the appeal with the high court.

Meanwhile, the decision has shown that the law is a great leveler. A rich man, a celebrity and a commoner are same in the eyes of law. While Salman’s lawyers pleaded for probation, the judge did not budge. Obviously it would have sent a wrong signal if the actor was sentenced and then released on probation. If he had committed the crime, which the court thought he had, he should have been punished regardless of his status. No leniency could have been shown just because he is a celebrated actor.

By all accounts, Salman Khan seems to have two strands in his life. There are scores of people in the film industry and outside who swear by his honest, helpful and charitable nature. Many actors say they owe their careers to him. He also runs the charity Being Human. On the other hand, his run-ins with the law are equally famous. He was involved in a hit-and-run case, although he was acquitted by the Bombay High Court. There were rumours about ugly fights with girlfriends with whom he had split. He was also charged with keeping and using arms whose licenses had expired. It is very difficult to put a label on Salman Khan. Is he a well-meaning hero ready to help others or a person with a short fuse having a tendency to break the law?