Apex court sets aside HC order in Salman case

Apex court sets aside HC order in Salman case

Post SC order, actor will not be able to go to UK

Apex court sets aside HC order in Salman case

Actor Salman Khan suffered a setback on Wednesday as the Supreme Court set aside a Rajasthan High Court order staying his conviction in the black buck hunting case to enable his travel to the United Kingdom for film shooting.

A bench of Justices S J Mukhopadhaya and Adarsh Kumar Goel sent the matter back to the high court to decide afresh his plea for suspending his conviction,  taking into consideration all legal issues involved.

Suspension of conviction in a criminal case is a rarity when the higher court takes up appeal of a convict. Suspending the sentence is a norm.

The Rajasthan government approached the apex court challenging an order passed by the high court on November 12, 2013, suspending his conviction in the case wherein he was sentenced to a five-year jail term for killing black buck in 1998 at Jodhpur while shooting for a film.

Quashing the high court order, the bench, however, said, “It would be open to the respondent (Khan) to show that if the order of conviction is not stayed it will cause irreversible consequences/injustice to him.”

The high court had allowed his plea for suspension of order of conviction of April 10, 2006, during the pendency of the revision petition on the grounds that the order of conviction was coming in the way of him travelling abroad, particularly the UK.

In its verdict, the apex court said, “If some foreign country is not granting permission to visit on the grounds that the respondent (Khan) has been convicted of an offence and has been sentenced to five years of imprisonment under the Indian law, the said order (denying permission) cannot be a ground to stay the order of conviction.”

Examining the high court order, the bench noted that it did not contain any definite conclusion that irreversible consequences or injustice would be caused to the actor if the order of conviction was not stayed.

“If an order of conviction in any manner is causing irreversible consequences or injustice to the respondent (Khan), it was open to the court to consider the same.

“If the court comes to a definite conclusion that the consequences/injustice the conviction would cause to the accused could not be reversed, it was well within the domain of the court to stay the conviction. No such ground has been shown by the High Court while passing the impugned order,” the bench said.

The court also noted that the actor had not visited the UK again for shooting of any film.
The UK authorities in 2013 refused the film actor visa due to his conviction with jail term of over four years, under the immigration rules, even though the sentence was stayed. This forced him to approach the high court for suspension of conviction.
DH News Service

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