Bollywood actor Salman Khan was on Saturday granted bail in a 20-year-old blackbuck poaching case by a Jodhpur court on a bond of Rs 50,000. The actor walked out of the jail late Saturday afternoon. District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi had allowed actor's plea for bail and suspension of sentence so that he can file an appeal against his conviction and sentencing.
The 52-year-old actor was sentenced to five years of imprisonment after being held guilty of killing two blackbucks in Jodhpur during the shooting of his movie Hum Saath Saath Hain in 1998. However, while convicting Salman, the trial court acquitted actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the "benefit of doubt" for the incident.
On Friday, District and Sessions judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi, who was scheduled to hear the actor's bail plea in blackbuck poaching case, was transferred by the Rajasthan High Court as part of "routine transfer".
AS IT HAPPENED:
8:30 pm: Salman Khan did not disappoint his fans gathered outside his residence. He waved to them, greeted them outside his residence.
8:11 pm: Salman Khan reaches his residence in Mumbai, crowd cheers as he enters home.
8:10 pm: Huge crowd has gathered outside Salman Khan's residence awaiting his arrival.
8:00 pm: The actor is presently on the way to his house in Mumbai.
7:50 pm: Loud cheers can be heard as Salman Khan reaches Mumbai airport with fans welcoming him.
7:45 pm: The Bollywood actor, now out on bail, has reached Mumbai after release from Jodhpur jail.
05:50 pm: Salman Khan has boarded the Chartered plane to Mumbai.
05:43 pm: Salman Khan has reached Jodhpur airport. From here, he will board the Chartered plane to Mumbai. His sisters Alvira, Arpita are accompanying him. His bodyguard Shera is also present with him.
05:40 pm: The Bollywood actor has walked out of the jail after spending two days in prison in the Blackbuck Poaching case.
05:35 pm: Salman Khan has stepped out of the Jodhpur jail, escorted by heavy police force.
05:30 pm: Salman Khan's sisters, Arpita and Alvira, have reached Jodhpur Airport as Salman Khan will step out of jail shortly.
05:28 pm: The route starting from the Jodhpur Central Jail to the airport has been cleared due to security reasons.
05:22 pm: Salman will be heavily guarded and escorted by the Jodhpur police to the airport, from where he will board a chartered plane to Mumbai.
05:21 pm: Salman Khan will walk out of the Jodhpur Central Jail soon as the release process inside the prison has been completed.
05:20 pm: Process at jail premises is over, modalities have been worked out. Security arrangements are in place, says a police official.
05:18 pm: A team of the Jodhpur Police has reached the Central Jail.
05:00 pm: Bail order copy has been brought to Jodhpur Central Jail. Process of release has begun.
04:06 pm: As per reports, private chartered plane is being flown from Udaipur to Jodhpur for actor Salman Khan.
03:45 pm: Director of Salman's upcoming film "Race 3" Remo D'Souza told PTI, "I am happy that he has got bail. After working with him so closely I have become a huge fan of him not only as an actor but also as a human being. Almost 90 percent of the shoot for 'Race 3' is over and the remaining portions will mostly be shot in India."
03:25 pm: The sessions court bail order copy has been sent to Chief Judicial Magistrate's (CJM) court that will then issue the release order. Actor Salman Khan is expected to walk out of the jail by 7 pm.
03:20 pm: Salman Khan, who had spent two nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail after his sentencing on Thursday, granted bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of like amount, Defence counsel Mahesh Bora said, adding he is likely to be released this evening once the papers are ready and sent to jail authorities.
03:15 pm: As per the order, Bollywood actor Salman Khan has to personally appear before the court on May 7.
03:10 pm: The actor can't go out of India without court's permission, states court order.
03:00 pm: Bollywood actor Salman Khan granted bail by Jodhpur court in a 20-year-old blackbuck poaching case.
1:45 pm: Judge to pronounce verdict on actor's bail plea at 3 pm.
11:45 am: No mobile phones or selfies are allowed, no outside food is coming inside, jail authorities are serving him food, says Jodhpur jail official.
11:20 am: Verdict on Salman Khan's bail plea is expected at 2 pm.
11:15 am: District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi heard the arguments of prosecution and defence which lasted for about an hour, defence counsel Mahesh Bora said.
11:12 am: Salman Khan's sisters - Alvira and Arpita - were present during the hearing.
11:10 am: Verdict will be pronounced post-lunch, we have concluded our arguments, says Salman Khan's lawyer Hastimal Saraswat
10:30 am: Judge Ravinder Kumar resumes hearing on Bollywood actor Salman Khan's bail plea.
09:42 am: District and Sessions judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi arrives at Jodhpur court.
09:10 am: As per reports, Joshi will be replaced by Chandra Kumar Sonagra, though it is still not yet clear whether he will take charge on Saturday or not.
09:07 am: The website on Friday night listed that Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi's was transferred to Sirohi.
09:03 am: On Friday, judge Joshi had reserved the bail plea hearing in the blackbuck poaching case.
08:10 am: The court heard arguments on the suspension of sentence and bail application before deferring the matter till Saturday.
On account of administrative exigencies, 87 District judges transferred in #Rajasthan. Ravindra Kumar Joshi, District and sessions judge of Jodhpur, who was scheduled to hear Salman Khan's bail plea in black buck poaching case today, also transferred— ANI (@ANI) April 6, 2018
07:35 am: In his arguments, defence counsel Mahesh Bora said there were various loopholes in the investigation. He argued that no investigation in any of the cases of poaching proved that Salman used firearms. "We have argued that the eyewitness in the case was not reliable," Bora said, adding, "It was never proved that he had firearms. Even the pellets recovered from him did not corroborate the story of the prosecution. Also, the first post-mortem report was completely dumped."
07:10 am: "Besides this, he (Salman Khan) has been acquitted in all the other cases of poaching on the basis of the prosecution's failure to prove the allegations and in such a condition, his sentence should be suspended," he argued.
06:50 am: But objecting to the defence counsel's arguments, public prosecutor Pokar Ram Bishnoi urged the court to seek the record of the case from the trial court and go through it.
06:23 am: He argued that this was the only case where an eyewitness was available and the prosecution has succeeded in proving the crime beyond any doubt.