The Jodhpur district court will give its order on Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's bail plea Saturday, April 7, 10:30 am. This means the actor will have to stay at least one more day in the Jodhpur Central Jail. The hearing in the bail plea will be continued Saturday and Salman's lawyers will have to substantiate their claims that the eyewitnesses weren't reliable. 

The Bollywood star was sentenced to five years in jail, with a penalty of Rs 10,000 in the case Thursday. Salman was arrested immediately and is now lodged at the Jodhpur Central Jail, which also houses rape-accused Asaram Bapu.

What happened at the bail hearing

Confusion over tomorrow's hearing 

  • Salman's lawyer Mahesh Bora had earlier said that the hearing was over. However, that turned out to be wrong.
  • "Saying that the arguments are over and the order has been reserved for tomorrow is wrong," said the prosecution lawyer.

Arguments between Salman's counsel and prosecution 

  • During the hearing, Salman's counsel argued that the witnesses' statements were not reliable and had discrepancies. To this, the public prosecutor retorted that the counsel must then prove these statements wrong. 
  • The judge has now ordered Salman lawyers to produce the documents Saturday
  • If the district court rejects the actor's plea Saturday, he will have to stay in jail at least until Monday when his lawyers will approach the high court. 
  • Salman's lawyers are said to be "disappointed."
  • Salman's brothers Sohail and Arbaaz are likely to leave for Jodhpur
  • The plea was heard in the court, but the order will come out only Saturday.
  • Experts believe that the hearing may take some time and the order may not come out today
  • Friends and family are said to be at his house in Galaxy Apartments, Bandra.
  • Salman's counsel begins arguments on the case
  • Salman's lawyer says witness unreliable  
  • "I am getting death threats. The message said 'Salman Khan ka case ko chodh dijiye, warna goli maarenge'," Mahesh Bora, the actor's lawyer said. 
  • Arguments in the bail plea begin. During the hit-and-run case in Mumbai Salman had walked out of jail in hours.
  • Salman was given tea and glucose biscuits in the morning in jail 
  • Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif Thursday slammed the five-year jail term and called it "discriminatory."
  • "Salman Khan has been sentenced because he's a minority," the foreign minister said according to Geo News.
  • The bail plea will be heard soon 
  • Salman's sisters Alvira and Arpita have arrived in court, along with the actor's bodyguard Shera
  • Friends and family members have rushed to Jodhpur to be by the actor's side.
  • Salman's legal team says they received threat calls.
  • Calls made from Dubai and Australia

Salman's legal team draws up 51-page bail application 

  • The lawyers have drawn up the papers, which comprises 54 grounds for the judge to go through and grant a bail
  • Speaking to News18, lawyer Hastimal Saraswat said: "If it was not Salman Khan, bail would have been granted the next day."
  • He added that if the bail is denied by the district judge, the team will approach the Rajasthan High Court 

The outcome of the case has sharply polarized citizens and many in Bollywood have openly said the sentence is harsh. Blackbucks are protected under India's stringent Wildlife Act, and the case is that 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, Tabu and Neelam -- were acquitted by the Jodhpur sessions court.

Read what the blackbuck case is all about.

Heavy security outside Jodhpur central jail 

  • Heavy security arrangements have been put in place outside the jail after a threat 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.
  • "Salman Khan will be killed here, in Jodhpur... Then he will come to know about our real identity," the gangster had earlier said. 
  • "Now, if the police want me to do some major crime, I shall kill Salman Khan and that too in Jodhpur."

Bishnois protect blackbucks and other endangered animals

  • The Bishnois, a community in Rajasthan that protects the blackbucks (chinkara), welcomed the verdict.
  • Even though blackbucks were often hunted in princely states before, the population saw a drastic drop in the 20th century. Blackbucks are now considered endangered and protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act. 
  • The sub-sect of Hindus is known to protect the entire ecosystem of their villages and various endangered animals find shelter here.
  • The Rajasthan forest department, in its census, said that the total number of blackbucks in Rajasthan stood was 30,530 in 2016. The number saw quite a jump since 2007, when there were 14,701 blackbucks in the state's reserved and non-reserved forest area.

Salman's legal woes

  • 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.

Celebs believe sentence too harsh

  • Several Bollywood celebs spoke about the case and said that Salman had done a lot of humanitarian work and doesn't deserve the punishment.
  • After Alok Nath and Jaya Bachchan, actor Dalip Tahil also spoke up on the sentencing and said: "Salman has done a lot of charity work and that should be taken into account as well.
  • Rahul Dev, Arjun Rampal and Varun Dhawan too tweeted about the imprisonment and said that even though they respect the decision of the court, they believe that the punishment may be a little harsh.
  • However, a judge in Jodhpur specified that Salman must pay for the killing as he "is a film star and people look up to him."
  • "The way the accused killed two innocent black bucks in violation of the wildlife laws...he is a film star, people emulate him and look up to him... and there has been a rise in poaching incidents, so leniency is not justified given the severity of the crime, the evidence and the circumstances," NDTV quoted the judge as saying.
  • Actor Kabir Bedi also said: "The length of sentence seems excessive and must be appealed."

Salman's night in jail as qaidi no. 106 

  • After the sentencing, Salman was taken to the jail where he was alloted the badge of inmate number 106.
  • He was housed in the VIP barrack in ward number 2, which is reportedly adjacent to the cell that houses Asaram Bapu.
  • A medical test was conducted and Salman's blood pressure was a little high. However, it later stabilized. 
  • His bodyguard Shera brought him some clothes and food from Taj Vivanta, 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. 

Salman in Jodhpur

Jodhpur, a city in the Thar Desert of the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan, is named after its founder Rao Jodha. Also known as the "Blue City" for its blue structures, Jodhpur was also the seat of a princely state of the same name. 

A view of the city of Jodhpur. Salman Khan is in the city and is lodged in the central jailReuters

After the verdict and sentencing, the A-list star's lawyers released a statement and said that it all came as a surprise.

"Also, in the present case, the Hon'ble court has acquitted all the 5 co-accused, which would imply Salman was out hunting alone in the middle of the night in a remote area outside Jodhpur," the statement added.

Salman Khan lawyer statement
Salman Khan's lawyers released a statement after the sentencingPR Handout

Between the entire buzz around Salman's sentencing and bail possibility, one cannot help but wonder if Friday will bring him some luck again, like it did in the 2002 hit-and-run case. After years of court proceedings, Salman was sentenced to five years in jail May 6, 2015. However, he was granted bail in the case May 8, which was also a Friday. So will history repeat itself? Well, we'll have to wait and watch.

Salman Khan in Jodhpur jail after being convicted in blackbuck poaching case
Salman Khan in Jodhpur jail after being convicted in blackbuck poaching caseVarinder Chawla

In case Salman is denied bail, it is going to have major implications on the industry as a huge amount of Rs 1,000 crore is said to be riding on the actor. Race 3, Bharat, and Dabangg 3 are set to hit screens in 2018 and 2019. Not just that, he has multiple brand endorsements and Salman is, in fact, pretty much synonymous with the reality show Bigg Boss.

The actor is also set to host reality game show Dus Ka Dum, likely to go on air after June.

Meanwhile, actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu, and Neelam, who were also involved in the case were acquitted by the court. A local identified as Dushyant Singh has also been acquitted. The actors were in the jeep with Salman when they went hunting on the intervening night of October 1-2.

In fact, an eyewitness has said that it was Tabu who urged Salman to pull the trigger. "Ab nazdeek aa gaye hai, goli maardo," Tabu allegedly said.

While the Bishnoi community who is known to protect blackbucks welcomed the court's verdict on Salman, they have decided to appeal against the acquittal of the others.

Will Salman get bail Friday
Salman Khan has been sentenced to 5 years in prisonIANS

What is Salman's blackbuck case all about

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. While the actor spent a week in jail, the sentence was suspended by the Rajasthan High Court.
  5. 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.
  6. The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.