Salman Khan to spend another day in jail until bail plea decided

 
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Jodhpur April 6 (TNS): A sessions court in Jodhpur will pronounce on Saturday its order on a bail application of actor Salman Khan, who was earlier sentenced to five years in prison after he was found guilty in the blackbuck poaching case.

The court heard arguments on the suspension of the sentence on Friday and summoned records from the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court, which had handed down the punishment on Thursday.

Lawyers representing Khan, who is lodged in the Central Jail in Jodhpur, appeared before Additional Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi and sought the actor’s release on bail, while also filing the petition for suspension of his sentence and appeal against the magistrate’s judgment. Following the adjournment of proceedings, Khan, 52, will be spending another night behind the bars.

Defence counsel Mahesh Bora argued that the circumstances of the alleged poaching incident in 1998, relied upon by the lower court, had been discarded by the Rajasthan High Court, which had acquitted him in two other related cases. He also contended that the evidence of witnesses was not reliable. The prosecution will make its arguments on Saturday after the Sessions Court peruses the lower court’s record.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate had acquitted film actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre, giving them the benefit of doubt.

The case pertains to the killing of two endangered blackbucks in Kankani village, near Jodhpur, on the night of October 1-2, 1998, when Khan and other actors were shooting for Hindi film Hum Saath Saath Hain.

The blackbuck is a species of antelope protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. TNS/The Hindu