Don't Punish Him More Because He is an Actor, Say Salman Khan's Lawyers to Judge

Actor Salman Khan arrives at the sessions court in Mumbai (Agence France-Presse photo)

Mumbai: Actor Salman Khan has been found guilty of killing a homeless man while driving drunk in 2002 in Mumbai. He has been sentenced to five years in jail.

A Mumbai judge rejected the actor's claim that his driver is to blame. One man was killed and several others injured when Mr Khan's Toyota Land Cruiser ran  into a group of men sleeping on a pavement near a South Mumbai bakery.

The 49-year-old was found guilty of all charges including culpable homicide which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Earlier, arguing for a lenient sentence, the superstar's lawyers had urged the judge. "You can't punish him more because he is an actor. If he is to suffer, he should suffer as an ordinary person."

Speaking on behalf of the actor, they told the judge. "Enhance the fine but don't punish me beyond three years."

Mr Khan's lawyers said that if the actor is jailed for a lengthy period, he will not be able to donate to "Being Human", the trust that he runs.  They said "majority of the actor's income" is given to the organization that does "a lot of good work."