In a big relief for Salman Khan, the Jodhpur Sessions Court has granted the actor bail in 1998 blackbuck poaching case. The court has granted bail on surety of Rs 50,000. The suspension of his sentence has been allowed, pending decision on the appeal filed by Salman’s legal team.
Salman Khan will not be allowed to leave the country without the court’s permission, and will have to be present on May 7, for the next hearing in the Blackbuck poaching case, according to Mahipal Bishnoi, the lawyer who represents the Bishnoi community, which took such issue against the alleged killing of the blackbucks by the actor in 1998.
Firecrackers are being burst outside the Jodhpur Sessions Court, as the fans and supporters of the actor gathered in celebration; the crowds have since been dispersed by the police and security forces posted there. The actor is expected to be released in the next hour or so, after spending 48 hours in Jodhpur Central Jail, where he shared a cell with rape accused and self-styled Godman, Asaram.
A jodhpur court convicted Salman Khan in the blackbuck poaching case and sentenced 5year jail term alongwith fine of Rs.10,000/-. He was accused of killing two blackbucks on 1998 in Jodhpur during the shooting of film “Hum Saath Saath Hain” along with the co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, and Tabu. The co-accused were acquited by this court.
Judge Dev Kumar Khatri reserved the order after the final arguments on March 28. As per Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. During the final arguments, the prosecution counsel had described the spot of alleged poaching, citing the statements of witnesses Poonam Chand and Chhoga Ram and the post-mortem report, which nailed Salman Khan.
Prosecution argued that bail should be rejected, because eyewitness accounts prove that the Bollywood superstar is indeed guilty of the crime, for which he has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by the Jodhpur Sessions Court.
Jodhpur Court reserves its order till tomorrow on bail plea by #SalmanKhan #BlackBuckPoachingCase (11:18AM)
Hastimal Saraswat, Salman Khan’s lawyer, told News18 that there are definite problems with the verdict delivered by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri and that it needs reconsideration. Saraswat has maintained that one of the key grounds is that the eyewitness statement of Poonam Chand cannot be relied as there are several discrepancies in the statements and are doubtful. “Poonam Chand stayed around two kilometers from the killing spot. Then how did he hear the sound of the Gypsy. Secondly there were no Tyre marks of the Gypsy around the area too,” said Saraswat. But the judge set aside this contention stating that the eyewitness had itself said that the grave of the black buck was made at a distance of half a kilometer from his house and the other witness whose name is Bhavarlal Vanpal from the defence have also agreed that Poonam Chand stayed at a distance of over a half a kilometer from the Killing site. The bail application which has also prayed for the suspension of the five year sentence has raised serious questions on the way the trial court has handled the point of DNA evidence.
#SalmanKhan has been given number 106 & is lodged in Ward number 2. He was made to undergo medical test & has no medical issues. He hasn’t made any demands. We’ll give him jail uniform tomorrow. Multiple-layer security has been put up for his ward: Vikram Singh, Jodhpur DIG(Jail) pic.twitter.com/MTjY7PlVRj
We’ll analyse the judgement. We want an immediate appeal to be filed against those who have been acquitted and we also demand maximum punishment for Salman Khan: Rampal Bhawad, State President, Bishnoi Tigers Vanya Evam Paryavaran Sanstha #BlackBuckPoachingCase#Rajasthanpic.twitter.com/Jfn8Pf5Jdp
The convicted actor Salman Khan will have to spend the night in the Jodhpur Central Jail on Thursday if the quantum of sentence is more than three years.
Salman was sitting with his sister Alvira, with his bodyguard Shera standing on her left. When the judge announced the verdict, Salman was standing. His other sister wasn’t allowed inside.
Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act carries maximum punishment of six years and minimum one-year jail term. The prosecution has demanded maximum punishment for Salman Khan.
The actor will be taken to Jodhpur Central Jail, which currently houses three high-profile inmates — Asaram Bapu, Malkhan Singh Vishnoi and Shambhu Lal. The latter two are accused in the Bawri Devi case and the Rajasthan hacking case, respectively.
Bishnoi Sabha, which had filed the blackbuck poaching case, has now decided to appeal against the acquittal of the four co-accused in the case.
Argument on quantum of punishment is on. Salman Khan’s counsels are praying for probation.