In another ordeal for filmstar Salman Khan, the Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the Rajasthan High Court stay order on his conviction in the decade-old blackbuck hunting case being pursued by the Rajasthan government.
An apex court bench headed by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay reverted the case back to the high court for fresh consideration saying the could tell the court that he would suffer irreversible damage if the stay is not granted and the prosecution side could disprove his claim.
The Rajasthan High Court had put on hold Salman’s conviction on his plea that it was coming in his way to get visa to travel to England.
Salman Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu, Neelam and others were accused of hunting the protected blackbuck in Rajasthan during the shooting for the film “Hum Saath Saath Hain”.
Salman was convicted by a trial court April 10, 2006, under the Wild Life (Protection) Act and was awarded five years’ jail and a fine of Rs.25,000.
The sessions judge Aug 24, 2007, upheld his conviction and sentence as it dismissed his appeal against the trial court order.
The Rajasthan High Court by its order of Aug 31, 2007, suspended his sentence, and Nov 12, 2013, suspended the order of conviction as it came in the way of Salman’s foreign travels.
An FIR was lodged Oct 2, 1998. against Salman and others for hunting Krishunmurg (blackbuck) deer on the midnight of Sep 28, 1998, within the limits of village Mathania.
Salman was arrested Oct 12, 1998, got bail Oct 15 and was released Oct 17 as he was not granted anticipatory bail in the case. Now that the stay has been cancelled, his foreign trips will be curtailed and once the case proceeds, he may have to prepare for a final verdict and face the prison term.
Salman Khan faces another court trial in a hit-and-run case in Mumbai.