JULY 25- Room No 25 at City Civil Sessions court today had a starry visitor today. And, you didn’t have to enter the room to gauge that. With a battery of people gathered outside and enough constables parked outside both the entrances to the room, you could tell from far that this was not a normal court proceeding. It couldn’t be when one of the country’s biggest superstar Salman Khan was himself making an appearance in the court.
At around 10.45 am Salman Khan’s sisters were the first ones to arrive. Five minutes later Salman arrived himself with his bodyguard Shera. Dressed in black trousers and a grey shirt with a formal belt to match, Salman looked every bit the handsome actor that he is. Though he appeared calm and serene when he entered the court room you could not miss the subdued effect in his personality. The cool confidence that you see in him on a film set was not on display.
As he was waiting in the room’s doorway for the judge to arrive, a legal intern (who was obviously a fan too) seated in the fourth row reached out to shake hands with him. Salman shook hands with her and then commented, “Meri bad luck ka faayda utha rahi ho.” The intern later explained, “No, no I came in to pray for him. It’s unimaginable for me to even think that I would ever meet him. I am happy to have seen him.”
Salman’s sisters sat together in the front rows while the actor himself sat alone by himself in the absolute last row, with his loyal bodyguard Shera standing on the side. Strangely, while the proceedings were on, a lady who was there with a kid tried her luck at getting an autograph and Shera politely told her, “Nahin, court mein nahin.” The lady and the kid got up and left soon after.
Even a group of media people had to leave the room as they were seen with mobile phones in the court room. The cops at the door were checking and ensuring that entrants did not have any recording device or and mobile phones with them.
Charges were framed against the Bollywood superstar for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the hit-and-run case, setting the stage for trial. Apart from section 304(2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), he was also charged under sections 279 (causing death by negligence), 337 (causing hurt by an act), 338 (causing grievous hurt), 427 (causing damage or mischief to property) of IPC, and provisions of Motor Vehicles Act and Bombay Prohibition Act. Salman pleaded not guilty on all accounts.
The good news was that the actor is exempted from further appearances in person at the court when the trial begins on August 19 until deemed necessary by the court. The actor is expected to leave for London at the end of this month to shoot for Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kick.
Srikant Shivade, Salman’s advocate urged the court to direct the media to observe restraint as undue publicity was drawn to the case and the proceedings were also not reported in the correct manner. The magistrate assured Salman’s counsel that he would take care of the matter and directed he media to observe restraint in reporting the case.