Jodhpur, Aug 9: Ordering day-to-day hearing on Salman Khan's appeal challenging the one year jail term awarded to him in the 1998 black bucks killing case, a Rajasthan court today directed the actor to remain present during the proceedings till his plea is decided.
Refusing to hear the arguments in the actor's absence, District and Sessions Judge BL Sharma, while adjourning the matter till September 20, directed the counsel of Khan to ensure that he appears in court on that day.
The court which began hearing on Khan's appeal after a four-year delay directed that the matter will be heard on day-to-day basis and sought an assurance from Khan's lawyers that the actor would appear in the court till a decision is reached.
Though the counsel for Khan sought exemption from personal appearance citing law and order issues, the court was unmoved.
Khan's lawyers also contended that it is not required that the petitioner be present in the court during hearing of appeal but the judge said that since it is a matter of sentence suspension, the accused has to be present in the court during the hearing on his appeal.
Public Prosecutor Ram Sukh Sharma said that Khan had sought exemption from presence in the court.
He said that the court has asked Khan's counsel to make sure that he remains present in the court as long as the hearing continues.
"The court will now go for day-to-day hearing hearing" from September 20, he said.
Khan had filed the appeal on March 9, 2006 challenging his conviction under the Wild Life Protection Act by the Chief Judicial Magistrate on February 17, 2006 in the case of poaching oftwo black bucks in Bhawad near here on September 26, 1998 during the shooting of film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.
Seven other accused in the case, including actor Satish Shah, were acquitted.
The appellate court suspended the sentence on March 10, 2006 but before the hearing on the appeal could progress, the state government filed a revision petition in the high court terming the sentence as inadequate and challenging the acquittal of others.
Following this, the case documents were sent to the high court, leading to the delay in the hearing. PTI