Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who spent the last two nights in a prison for killing two black bucks two decades ago, released from jail today hours after getting bail from a court in Rajasthan's Jodhpur.
Salman Khan walked out of Jodhpur Central Jail this afternoon and returned home in Mumbai, reports our Delhi correspondent.
Earlier in the day, District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi granted bail to Salman on a bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of like amount after hearing the arguments on the bail plea, public prosecutor Pokhar Ram Bishnoi.
He was sentenced to five years imprisonment by a trial court on Thursday in the case poaching two black bucks two decades ago.
As soon as the 52-year-old actor, wearing a black T-shirt and a cap, came out of the jail, fans waiting to have a glimpse of the super star broke into cheers.
From the jail, Salman, in the midst of heavy security, went straight to the Jodhpur airport and took a chartered flight back to Mumbai.
The court gave bail to the 52-year-old actor for a personal bail bond for Rs. 50,000 and two sureties of Rs. 25,000 each to guarantee that the actor will comply with all bail conditions. But the court has asked Salman not to leave the country without its permission.
The court allowed Salman’s plea for bail and suspension of the sentence so that he can file an appeal challenging his conviction, the actor’s counsel Mahesh Bora told reporters.
Bora said he argued in the sessions court today that “It’s a baseless argument by the prosecution that the previous acquittals of Khan by the Rajasthan High Court cannot be termed as final because the government’s appeal is pending in Supreme Court. If the High Court’s decision of acquittal is not final, then the five-year sentence by the trial court is also not final as it’s the lowest court and we will be appealing against the decision.”
Bora had also cited a forensic science laboratory report that said that no gunshot wound can be ascertained from the bones of the black bucks sent to the forensic lab. “There’s no question of misuse of liberty by Khan if he is granted bail as in the past 20 years, he has not jumped a single hearing despite having a busy schedule,” Bora had said.
On the other hand, the prosecution on its part told district and sessions judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi that the current case is the strongest of all the cases filed against the actor.
“This case should not be seen in the same way with the ones in which Khan has been acquitted by the High Court. 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.
Khan, who had spent two nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail after his sentencing on Thursday, got the bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of like amount, he said.
The actor was sentenced to five years and fined Rs 10,000 for killing the black bucks at Kankani village near Jodhpur during the shooting of Hindi movie Hum Saath Saath Hain in October, 1998.
The other actors who were co-accused in the case , Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam Kothari, were acquitted.
Earlier in the day, the judge heard the arguments of prosecution and defence which lasted for about an hour and pronounced the bail order at around 3 pm, a defence counsel said.
Khan's sisters - Alvira and Arpita - were present during the hearing.
In a late Friday night development, an order was issued to transfer judge Joshi to Sirohi as part of a reshuffle. He was among 134 judges transferred by the Registrar General of the Rajasthan High Court.