As a local court is set to pronounce verdict in the hit-and-run case involving the Bollywood superstar Salman Khan on May 6, the film industry is keeping its fingers crossed as an investment of about Rs 200 crore is riding on him.
“The film industry is hoping that nothing terrible happens. Either he is pronounced innocent or the least punishment is given,” said the trade analyst Komal Nahata.
His two upcoming films, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” which stars Kareena Kapoor and “Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo” opposite Sonam Kapoor, are currently in the last “schedule” of shooting.
The 49-year-old actor recently shot for “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” in Kashmir.
Amod Mehra, another trade analyst, said Salman Khan had committed to do four others films, including “Dabang 3″ and “Entry Mein No Entry”, but these were only at the stage of announcement.
In all, an investment of Rs 200 crore is riding on Salman, who has delivered a string of box office collections successes in the last few years, according to Nahata.
The actor is accused of ramming his car, while drunk, into a roadside bakery in suburban Bandra in the early hours of September 28, 2002, killing one person and injuring four others.
The maximum sentence he can get is a ten years’ jail term, on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
After Sanjay Dutt, Salman is the second big star from Mumbai film industry to get embroiled in a high-profile criminal case in recent years. He is also facing trial in a Rajasthan court for hunting a black buck during the shooting of “Hum Saath Saath Hain”.
Meanwhile, actor Jacky Bhagnani said, “I am personally very very close to Salman Khan… But it’s a court decision… I can’t talk about it too much… I hope justice prevails.”
Veteran actor Anupam Kher said, “Salman is a wonderful person… I pray to the god he is happy after the verdict… He is a very good human being… I hope everything is sorted out.”
Actress Soha Ali Khan said she was praying that God give Salman and his family strength. He is very close to my family…and has always been very helpful,” she said.