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    The driverless car did it. The drunken roads did it. Everyone else, except Sallu, did it. That’s the only conclusion one can draw from the ‘not guilty’ verdict pronounced on the 13-year-old case concerning a Bollywood star best known for `100-crore hits-and-runs.
    The judgement has provoked maximum outrage in the maximum city. But as seasoned observers will tell you, getting off the hook is par for the course for celebrities across the world. Let me name a few names to put you to ease. Sometime in 1969, Ted Kennedy (the youngest brother of John F Kennedy, and a United States senator), in a famous episode of drunken driving caused the death of a young lady named Mary Jo. Instead of being charged with homicide, his surname helped him snag a mere two-year sentence. There was no public apology to the family. Some monetary compensation exchanged hands, that’s all.

    OJ Simpson’s case was even more brazen. The rugby star was tried for the 1994 murder of his ex-wife and her friend. Despite being caught after a chase by the LAPD and tell-tale evidence of his bloody footprints at the scene of the crime, OJ was let go. After release, he had the cheek to write a book titled If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. Thankfully, he’s now cooling his heels serving a 33-year prison sentence related to a robbery case.

    Singer R Kelly, the man behind I Believe I Can Fly, was once arrested for having sex with a minor and for indulging in child pornography. The charges were serious and just when the world was expecting him to be severely punished, all charges were dropped and he walked a free man.

    Rappers Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Jay-Z have all been acquitted for grave crimes. That’s because celebs jumping bail and beating the system has been the norm for centuries.

    Fatty Arbuckle, a silent movie era legend, was tried thrice for the mystery death of a lady who spent some quality time with him. But the jury glossed over the manslaughter. Al Capone, the Chicago gangster and brain behind many street murders, always managed to escape the electric chair. But karma caught up with him when he was pinned down for tax evasion. So all ye who despair, let’s wait for Lady Karma to do her job.

    -Anantha Narayan

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