Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been granted bail in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case by a district judge in Jodhpur. He walked out of the jail at around 5.35 pm and flew back to Mumbai in a private plane.
Salman was asked to furnish two bonds of Rs 25,000 each and he will have to appear before the court May 7 for a plea on suspension of sentence. Until then, he will have to seek the court's permission to travel out of the country.
While Salman was sentenced to five years in jail in the case, co-accused actors -- Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu, and Neelam -- were acquitted Thursday, April 5. The actors were in Jodhpur, a city in the Thar Desert of the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan, in 1998 while shooting for the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.
As it happened
Salman leaves Jodhpur Central Jail
- Salman reaches airport in seven minutes amid tight security. Actor seen with bodyguard Shera.
- Actor to leave for Mumbai by 6 pm latest.
- Security at the airport being beefed up. Alvira and Arpita reach airport
- Salim Khan has told Times Now that the family is relieved that Salman will be back home soon.
- He added that there will be no celebrations and that he has "not won a war."
- Salman bodyguard Shera too has reached Jodhpur's Central Jail
- Salman's convoy has already entered the jail premises. A large number of fans have gathered outside the jail
- The actor will take a private plane to Mumbai
- Release order reaches Jodhpur Central Jail.
- While fans are ecstatic at his bail, several celebs also seem pleased with the decision.
Finally Salman gets a relief from honourable court I wish 1 day in my life time i get a news of Kashmir Palestine Yemen Afghanistan & all the troubled area of the world are free bcoz my heart bleeds for humanity & loss of innocent life ..— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 7, 2018
- The bail order was sent to the lower trial court, which had earlier sentenced the actor to five years jail.
- The trial court then directed the Jodhpur Central Jail to release the actor.
- The procedure is likely to be completed by 8 pm latest.
- However, Salman will not be allowed to leave the country without the court's permission.
- He will also have to appear in court May 7, for the next hearing.
- Salman's lawyers had earlier said that the eyewitnesses' statements in the blackbuck poaching case weren't reliable.
- The judge then asked the defense counsel to substantiate their claims.
- The Bishnoi community has said that they will now approach the Rajasthan High Court
- Fans celebrate the verdict with slogans and fireworks
- Heavy security deployed outside Salman's residence in Bandra
- Judge Joshi arrives in the courtroom, verdict expected soon
- Reports have said that the verdict has been delayed as the order is still being typed out
- Salman's second night in jail was reportedly very similar to the first night. He is said to have refused to eat the jail food and still hasn't changed into the jail uniform
- A lot has been said about Salman's stint in jail and how he might be receiving special treatment. However, a jail official has clarified that no special arrangements have been made for the actor
Salman's bail plea hearing under way
- Judge Joshi hears both sides, judgment after lunch
- Alvira and Arpita leave court
- Salman is innocent, being framed, deserves bail: Defense counsel
- Prosecution opposes bail plea
- Prosecution reads eyewitness account in court
- The hearing on the actor's bail plea is under way and an order is expected shortly
- Arpita and Alvira are said to be inside the court
- Salman was said to be very worried after he came to know about the transfer of the judges
- Judge Khatri, who had sentenced Salman to five years in prison, is said to be meeting Joshi at his office.
- Security beefed up outside Jodhpur court
- Prosecution lawyer Pokar Ram Vishnoi told a TV channel: "Yes, Judge Ravinder Kumar Joshi will hear the case today."
- Salman's sisters Arpita and Alvira arrive in court with the actor's bodyguard Shera.
- The judge arrives in Jodhpur court
- Despite the judge hearing the actor's case being transferred overnight, the bail plea will be heard Saturday at 10:30 am.
- Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi will hear Salman's case, which has been listed on No. 15.
- He will appear in the Jodhpur sessions court for the last time Saturday.
Fans reach Jodhpur to support Salman
- Numerous fans have reportedly reached Jodhpur to stand by their star. They can be seen holding massive posters in his support
- Children too can be seen in the crowd that has been present outside the court under the scorching sun and heat.
- A little girl who had also come to support Salman is known to have fainted due to the heat
Judge hearing Salman's case transferred
- The judge hearing the actor's case has reportedly been transferred, due to which there might now be a delay in the decision.
- The Rajasthan High Court transferred Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi, who was hearing the actor's case, reported ANI.
- Joshi has been transferred to Siroh in Rajasthan.
- Judge Dev Kumar Khatri, who had convicted Salman, has also been transferred and will be replaced by Samrendra Singh Sikarwar.
- While there has been an uproar over the transfer, the Rajasthan High Court has said that it is "routine."
- Judges in Rajasthan are reportedly transferred between April 15 and 30 every year
- There are now doubts about whether Salman would get a bail Saturday and the actor may just have to spend the weekend in jail
- In case the actor isn't given bail Saturday, he will be able to approach the high court only on Monday.
- The lawyers are now deciding their course of action.
Second autopsy report spelled Salman's doom?
- It was earlier argued that the blackbucks had died after falling into a ditch
- But the second autopsy report said that Salman has shot the deer.
- The report said that there were holes, one inch in diameter, in the bones of blackbuck carcasses.
- The defense counsel had then argued that the hole had been made by the investigator using a charred piece of coal so that Salman could be blamed.
Fans have been taking to Twitter and hoping that their favorite star will walk free today.
Without Salman Khan, Bollywood is like BANJAR ZAMEEN.— Sad Boy (@BeingSK_Soul) April 6, 2018
Salman to speak to his mother
- Salman is set to speak to his mother Salma Khan today. He is likely to call her from the jail office before the court hearing at 10.30 am
The Galaxy Apartments in Bandra, Mumbai, has seen quite a few visitors since Salman's conviction. Veteran actor and family friend Shatrughan Sinha too visited the Khan residence and spoke to Salim Khan.
"My daughter Sonakshi (Sinha) reached Salman's home much earlier than me and spent a lot more time with the family. We are very close to the Khan family and have the highest regards for Salman and his parents," he told News18.
"I spent a lot of time with Salim Saab on Thursday evening. It is always a pleasure to spend time with him. He is so well-informed. I call him Salim Pandit. The current crisis (Salman's imprisonment) has not made him lose his sense of humour at all. He was full of life and very optimistic about his son's release soon. We all are."
Like numerous Bollywood stars, Sinha too believes that the punishment is a bit too harsh and questioned why the co-accused -- Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu, and Neelam were acquitted.
Friends and family visit Salman in Jodhpur Jail
- Friends and family members of the actor visited Salman in jail Friday. Apart from his sisters Alvira Agnihotri and Arpita Khan, actress and close friend Preity Zinta are also have said to have met the actor. Zinta then tweeted an image encouraging Salman.
- The former girlfriend and close friend Katrina Kaif is also likely to meet Salman in jail today. She has reportedly canceled her appointments for the weekend and is likely to stay back in Jodhpur to support the actor.
Salman spends a restless day in jail
- The Bhajrangi Bhaijaan star is said to have spent a tensed and restless time in jail Friday.
- The actor, who has been alloted badge number 106 and is lodged at barrack number two.
- He was seen pacing outside his barrack and the was asked to go back in due to security concerns.
- Reports said that he was given newspapers to read and he spent most of his time working out.
- The jail staff served him dinner at 7.30pm inside the ward. His dinner comprised cucumber, a tomato curry, dal and chapati. "He has been given extra security. So, unlike other prisoners, he is not supposed to come out and take his dinner. He was served dinner inside his ward," a jail official told the Times of India.
- The actor reportedly isn't eating much and had refused breakfast. He later asked the jail staff if he could buy something from the canteen.
- "He asked for a glass of milk and bread, which was given to him," jail superintendent Vikram Singh added.
Salman's legal saga
- This is not the first legal issue that Salman has run into and has quite a chequered past.
- The actor was also sentenced to five years in prison in 2015, in the 2002 hit-and-run case. But he was was acquitted in December 2015.
Actor has had a colorful love life
- One of the most spoken about affairs was with former Miss India Sangeeta Bijlani. Salman, on Koffee with Karan, had revealed that wedding cards too had been printed, but the couple split and continue to be close friends.
- He then dated a 19-year-old fan Somy Ali, but that relationship too did not last, thanks to his alleged partying and drinking habits.
- What will always be Salman's most talked-about and controversial relationships is the one he had with former Miss World and actress Aishwarya Rai. While the chemistry was evident in the initail days, the relationship was said to be riddled with abuse and quarrels. When the duo parted ways, Salman is known to be shattered. The actor had reportedly also created a ruckus on the sets of Shah Rukh's film Chalte Chalte, after which Rai was replaced by Rani Mukherji.
- Salman hasn't really had stable relationships since and reportedly moved on to Katrina Kaif and Claudia Ciesla. He is currently said to be dating Iulia Vantur.
The Tiger Zinda Hai star was sentenced to five years in jail, with a penalty of Rs 10,000 in the blackbuck poaching case Thursday. Salman was arrested immediately and is now lodged at the Jodhpur Central Jail, which also houses rape-accused Asaram Bapu. He was housed in the VIP barrack in ward number 2.
His bodyguard Shera brought him clothes and food from Taj Vivanta Thursday, but wasn't given permission to give the food to the actor, reported DNA. The jail officials provided him with a wooden cot, a rug and a cooler in the cell. He was served dal and roti, but he did not eat.
While he may be a superstar for his fans, as per jail records he is qaidi number 106.
If the district judge grants Salman bail Saturday, he will be able to walk free just in a matter of few hours. However, in case the decision isn't announced after the hearing tomorrow, Salman will spend the weekend in jail as his lawyers will be able to approach the Rajasthan High Court only Monday, April 9.
The actor's lawyers were said to have drawn up a 51-page bail application, which comprised 54 grounds for the judge to go through and grant a bail.
Heavy security has been deployed out the Jodhpur Central Jail over fears of threats to Salman's life. Gangster of Rajasthan Lawrence Bishnoi had earlier issued a death threat to Salman and said that the actor would be killed when he came to Jodhpur.
The outcome of the case has sharply polarized citizens and many in Bollywood have spoken up about their support for the actor labeling the sentence harsh. Blackbucks are protected under India's stringent Wildlife Act, and Salman had shot dead two of them in October 1998.
The other co-accused in the case -- Salman's fellow stars Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan, Tab, and Neelam -- were acquitted by the Jodhpur sessions court.
- The actors were in Jodhpur, shooting for the movie "Hum Saath Saath Hain," in 1998 when Salman, Saif, Tabu, and Sonali allegedly killed two blackbucks in the Kankani village.
- The villagers, mostly the Bishnois, a traditional community that protects the deer, then filed a complaint against the actors and the case has been going on since.
- Salman was convicted in one of the cases in 2006 and was sentenced to five years in prison along with a penalty of Rs 25,000.
- While the actor spent a week in jail, the sentence was suspended by the Rajasthan High Court.
- Salman was also booked in a case of illegal possession of arms as the license of the arms he allegedly used while hunting down the blackbucks had expired.
- The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.
- A bench of the Rajasthan High Court then finalized the charges against the actor in the poaching case, hence giving the trial a go ahead.
- Salman was booked under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the others were charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC.
- The final hearing in the case was completed March 28, and chief judicial magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved the verdict, reported the Press Trust of India.