Troubled times appeared to have hit Salman Khan as the Supreme Court has set aside Rajasthan High Court’s order which stayed his conviction in black buck hunting case. The apex court asked the HC to decide Salman Khan’s plea afresh in which the trial court had sentenced him to a five-year jail term.
The SC also said that Salman Khan can approach the HC if he really needs to travel abroad. Pronouncing the verdict, Justice Mukhopadhyay said the film star could tell the court that he would suffer irreversible damage if his conviction is not stayed and he is eventually acquitted.
The court said that the Rajasthan government at the same time could argue that no irreversible damage which cannot be undone would be caused if his conviction is not stayed. Black buck is a protected animal and its hunting is a punishable offence. Khan was convicted and sentenced to one-year and five-year prison terms in separate cases of poaching of two Chinkaras at Bhawad and one black buck at Ghoda Farm (Mathania) on the intervening night of September 26-27, 1998 and September 28-29, 1998 respectively. The actor had approached the High Court in 2007 seeking a stay on his conviction by a trial court so that he could file a fresh application for a British visa.
Besides Khan, actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam were accused of poaching near Jodhpur during the shooting of the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’.