Jodhpur: A Jodhpur court on Monday adjourned till 17 July the hearing on Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s plea challenging the trial court order sentencing him to a five-year jail term in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
Fifty-two-year-old Khan appeared before the judge on Monday in compliance with the directions given by the court on 7 April while granting bail. District and Sessions Judge Chandra Kumar Songara adjourned the hearing after the defence counsel Mahesh Bora sought time to begin arguments.
Khan was released from the Jodhpur jail, where he spent two nights, on 7 April after then District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi here granted him bail in the case. In a late evening order on 6 April, Joshi was transferred to Sirohi as part of a reshuffle carried out by the Rajasthan high court. He was replaced by Songara.
In his order granting bail, Joshi had allowed Khan’s application for suspension of sentence for a month against his conviction. The judge had asked the actor to appear before the court after a month on 7 May when it would hear his plea for suspension of sentence. He also directed Khan not to leave the country without the court’s permission.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had on 5 April sentenced Khan to five years in prison for killing two blackbucks during the shooting of “Hum Saath Saath Hain" in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of 1 October 1998.
The trial court had acquitted his Bollywood colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the “benefit of doubt" for the incident.