Salman Khan back home after getting bail, jubilant fans celebrate


NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Salman Khan returned home to a rousing welcome by jubilant fans on Friday after the Bombay high court suspended his 5-year jail term following which the sessions court extended his interim bail.

Celebrations broke out among thousands of Khan’s fans who had assembled outside the high court, the sessions court and the Khan residence in Bandra west, with people dancing, singing, shouting with joy and distributing sweets. On his return, Khan waved at his fans, greeted them and thanked them for their support.

Earlier on Friday, the Bombay high court on Friday admitted the appeal of Bollywood actor Salman Khan against his conviction by a trial court for a September 2002 hit-and-run case and suspended his five-year jail sentence. This paved the way for Khan to secure a regular bail.

Justice AM Thipsay directed Khan to furnish a fresh bail of Rs 30,000 to the Mumbai sessions court. However, the judge directed Khan to surrender his passport and seek the court’s permission to travel abroad.

Taking to reporters, special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said the interim bail granted to the actor by the high court two days ago has been extended and he will not be taken into custody pending disposal of his appeal against the lower court judgment.

Later, Khan, accompanied by his team of lawyers, reached south Mumbai to complete the bail formalities at the sessions court after which he could return home.

In the high court, Justice Thipsay said that when the jail sentence is less than seven years, the sentence can be suspended after the appeal is admitted.

“It is the normal rule that when the sentence is below seven years, it can be suspended after the appeal is admitted. The sentence has to be suspended. We can’t take pleasure in seeing somebody incarcerated till the appeal is decided. Even on the basis that he was driving, it is a case for suspension of sentence,” he observed.


Observing that there are several other points raised by Khan’s defence in their appeal challenging the sessions court judgment, such as which provision of the Indian Penal Code — section 304A (death due to negligence) or 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) — could be applied in the case, Justice Thipsay said these “need consideration”.

While the first attracts a maximum punishment of two years’ jail, the latter, which was applied on the actor subsequently, entails a punishment of up to 10 years in jail.

Among other things, Justice Thipsay observed that there is no possibility of Khan jumping bail. He further said the appeal would be expedited and posted it for final hearing in July.

In nearly two hours of arguments before the high court, Khan’s lawyers, led by renowned advocate Amit Desai, said the prosecution had failed to examine singer Kamaal Khan as a witness, the defence did not get opportunity to cross-examine (now deceased) police bodyguard of Khan, Ravindra Patil, and that the accident on early September 28, 2002 was caused due to a tyre burst of the Toyota Land Cruiser.

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