Bollywood star Salman Khan appeared before a Jodhpur sessions judge challenging the trial court order sentencing him to a five-year jail term in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case. The court has set July 17 as next date of hearing.
The application was listed for hearing before Jodhpur District and Sessions Judge Chandra Kumar Songara, the actor's counsel Nishant Bora told media yesterday. The actor, who came to Jodhpur yesterday via a regular flight, is accompanied by his sister Alvira, bodyguard Shera and some others. Khan was driven from driven straight from the airport to a five-star hotel, the official said.
As it happened:
Khan was released from the Jodhpur jail, where he spent two nights, on April 7 after then-District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi granted him bail in the case.
In a late evening order on April 6, Joshi was transferred to Sirohi as part of a reshuffle carried out by the Rajasthan High Court. He was replaced by Songara. In his order granting bail, Joshi had allowed Khan's application for suspension of sentence for a month against his conviction.
The judge had asked the actor to appear before the court after a month on May 7 when it would hear his plea for suspension of sentence. He also directed Khan not to leave the country without the court's permission.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had on April 5 sentenced Khan to five years in prison for killing two blackbucks during the shooting of "Hum Saath Saath Hain" in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of October 1, 1998.
The trial court had acquitted his Bollywood colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the "benefit of the doubt" for the incident.