“Benefit of doubt,” that is what mega-star Salman Khan is receiving as he is acquitted (yet again) in an 18-year-old Arms Act because the prosecution was unable to prove the charges framed against him. A corrupt justice system is not a new concept. Time and time again, even in North America, we have witnessed what the power of fame and fortune can do when it comes to the law (or avoiding it). The same thing can be said about actor Salman Khan whose presence and influence have clearly played a role in the type of retributions, or lack of, the actor has to pay.
Khan has worked hard to portray himself as bhai (elder brother) – someone with a big heart and all his roles tend to be as the hero. He narrates the stories and always wins in the end, so it should come as no real surprise then when, even in real life, he is able to “win.”
This is not the actor’s first run in with the law. Years ago, Khan was found “not guilty” in a hit-and-run case where he ran over five homeless people who were sleeping by the roadside, leaving one dead and several injured. The prosecution was unable to find “beyond reasonable doubt” that Khan was under the influence, and so, he was acquitted.
Is it a pattern, or a harsh reminder that for the average person their actions may have consequences, but for movie stars, the rules just do not apply? What’s even more disturbing is that each time Bollywood has had no problem welcoming the star back. It’s clear that credentials and profit trump character.
By Rhea Braganza