High Court suspends Salman's sentence

Bombay HC also admits plea against conviction; next hearing on June 15

High Court suspends Salman's sentence

In a major development, the Bombay High Court on Friday suspended actor Salman Khan’s five-year jail sentence, while admitting an appeal against his conviction in a 13-year-old hit-and-run case.

Justice Abhay Thipsey, who admitted the appeal, posted it for further hearing on June 15.

“This is not a case where I should keep him in jail till his appeal is heard and decided. We can’t take pleasure in seeing that someone is inside. Why should his rights suffer when his appeal is admitted and kept pending? In many cases people have suffered and spent their entire prison term only to be acquitted later by high court,” observed Justice Thipsey, after hearing senior counsel Amit Desai, who represented the actor, and government pleader Sandeep Shinde.

Justice Thipsey said it is nobody’s case that Khan would abscond when on bail, and he has not done so in the last 13 years despite being on bail and facing charges under Section of 304, Part II of the IPC.

“The normal rule is when an appeal is admitted and the sentence is under seven years, it (the sentence) is suspended. Why do you (prosecution) want to depart from this norm?” asked the court.

However, the judge also asked Khan to specifically seek permission if he wished to go abroad, and inform the police for domestic travel.

Khan later went to the Mumbai Sessions Court and executed a fresh bail bond of Rs 30,000. On Thursday, Khan was convicted by additional sessions judge D W Deshpande, of the grave charge under Section 304, Part II of the IPC. 

The section deals with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, among other charges for the September 28, 2002, incident in which one person died and four others injured when he rammed his SUV onto the pavements at American Express Bakery at the junction of Hill Road-St Andrews Road and Bandra. He was sentenced to five years in jail.

His legal team had immediately moved the Bombay High Court and secured a two-day interim bail, which expired on Friday.

There was a huge crowd of fans at the Galaxy Apartments at Bandra-West, outside the Bombay High Court and Mumbai Sessions Court to just have a glimpse of the actor and click photos.

A fan attempted suicide outside the Bombay High Court-Mumbai Sessions Court area, while a group of pavement dwellers protested outside the court.

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