Justice Ravindra Kumar Joshi delivered a bail plea in favour of Salman Khan, releasing the actor from police custody till he appeals against his sentence in a superior court.
Salman is lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail as “Qaidi No. 106”.
Khan has been directed not to leave the country without the permission of the court.
Though the actor was in the Jodhpur jail, his family members, including parents Salim and Salma Khan, brothers Sohail and Arbaaz, were in Mumbai and the mood outside his house was sombre till the news of his bail came in.
Bollywood macho and romantic actor Salman Khan has been granted bail on Saturday, two days after he was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Thursday’s conviction against the 52-year-old actor stem from the last of three cases of alleged poaching that was pursued against him, all three relating to 1998 hunts in Rajasthan. He was among 134 judges transferred by the high court registrar general. “We would also like to thank the judiciary for granting him bail”, said filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, the convenor of The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA).
Late morning, the Jodhpur sessions court, which was to hear his bail plea, adjourned the hearing till Saturday.
Actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre, co-accused in the Kankani blackbuck poaching case, flew back to Mumbai on Thursday evening after their acquittal, leaving Khan behind in jail. The heavily muscled actor was acquitted in two related cases. “The second postmortem report clearly states the animal died of gunshot wounds and the fact that the eyewitness stuck to his statements throughout the trial shows that our case is strong”, said public prosecutor Pokhar Ram Bishnoi.
Bhai, as he is fondly called, registered himself into Jodhpur Central Jail yesterday. However, Salman’s lawyers argued that only the bones of the animals were sent for evaluation when their skins, as crucial, weren’t. As a result Salman had to spend another night in Jodhpur prison.
Soli Sorabjee, a legal expert, said it was normal for bail to be granted in such a case, and didn’t see Khan getting any special treatment from the court. He is also developing Bharat, a movie based on the Korean drama, Ode to My father, which could also c0-star, Priyanka Chopra.
Khan says he did not shoot the two blackbuck deer.