Actor Salman Khan, who was sentenced to five years in prison by the Mumbai's sessions court yesterday, left the court premises after 8 hours. While Salman was supposed to be taken to the Arthur Road jail, he got relief when the Bombay High Court granted him two days of interim bail.
Former Solicitor General of India Harish Salve immediately moved the Bombay High Court for bail and a stay on his conviction after Mumbai Sessions Court sentenced him. While most convicts do not file appeals until they have received a copy of the conviction order and prepared their grounds for appeal, Salve filed one based on the operative parts of the order that had been released to his client.
The 49-year-old actor was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Judge D W Deshpande, who held the actor guilty of "all charges", including driving under influence of liquor and not possessing a driving licence, pronounced the sentence after a 45-minute adjournment of the proceedings.
Experts believe that driver Ashok Singh's sudden presence at the trial was the twist that swerved the case towards conviction. Andheri resident Singh who is the only defence witness in the case, had said in court, "I was driving when the accident took place... the tyre burst and brake jammed. I narrated the incident to police but was made to wait at the police station. I suspected foul play and informed Salman about it."
The prosecution had questioned Singh's credibility, argued that he was lying and sought action against him for giving false evidence before the court. The defence, however, called him a man with a clean conscience who came before the court to tell the truth.
As the judgment copy is awaited, experts say the driver's introduction at a belated stage may have been an adverse turning point for the actor.
However, the road ahead for Salman Khan is paved with possibilities. It is possible he may get regular bail from the Bombay high court if his appeal is admitted, but it is also possible that on Friday, his bail may not get extended if the judgment copy is given to him by then. In case bail is denied on Friday, Salman's legal team is prepared to move the Supreme Court immediately.