Mumbai, May 6 (PTI) Superstar Salman Khan was today convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years imprisonment in the 2002 hit-and-run case but escaped being sent to jail after the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail till May 8 when it will hear his plea against conviction.
The high court granted interim relief to the 49-year-old actor on the ground that he had been handed over only a 2-page operative part of the sessions court verdict and not a detailed order explaining the reasons for his conviction.
Like the twists and turns that characterised the prolonged trial in the over 12-year-old case, the actor was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment by sessions court judge D W Deshpande and placed under arrest immediately thereafter, only to be allowed a 48-hour breather by the high court.
Minutes after the judgement was pronounced in a packed courtroom, Salman’s lawyers moved the high court in appeal against conviction and seeking bail.
Justice A M Thipsay of the Bombay High Court offered a breather to the beleagured actor when he granted him interim bail accepting the plea of his senior counsel Harish Salve.
“So far, we have only got a two-page operative part of the judgement but not a detailed copy giving reasons for the conviction,” Salve said, seeking interim protection.
“The urgency in the matter is that the appellant (Salman) who was on bail throughout the trial is likely to be taken into custody today. However, the copy of the order has not been delivered yet,” Justice Thipsay said, adding “in all fairness and in the interest of justice” the actor should be protected till the time a copy of the reasoned order regarding his conviction is furnished to him.
He also said, “The order could have been pronounced when the copy was ready. Why was the order pronounced today. It should not have been delivered if the copy is not ready.”
The judge also directed the actor to execute a fresh bond before the trial court today itself.