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Sessions court convicts Salman, HC grants interim bail

By The Assam Tribune

MUMBAI, May 6 � Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was today sentenced by a sessions court to five years� rigorous imprisonment in the 2002 hit-and-run case, but he swiftly moved the Bombay High Court, which granted him interim bail till May 8 to hear his appeal against conviction, reports PTI.

Justice Abhay Thipsay granted interim bail to the actor on the ground that the accused had been given only a two-page operative part of the conviction order and not the full reasoned order by the sessions court.

�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 observed.

The judge said, in all fairness and in the interest of justice, it would be proper to protect Salman Khan for the time till a copy of the order containing reasons for conviction is furnished to him.

�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,� Justice Thipsay said.

The judge also directed the actor to execute a fresh bond before the trial court today itself.

Appearing for the actor, senior counsel Harish Salve argued that Salman should be granted bail till he gets a copy of the order that has details of the reasons for his conviction.

Opposing his plea, government pleader Sandeep Shinde said the High Court should not entertain it without a copy of a reasoned conviction order as required under law.

Earlier during the day, Sessions Judge DW Deshpande sentenced Salman to five years� rigorous imprisonment holding him guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 IPC and other penal laws.

The 49-year-old actor was accused of ramming his Land Toyota Cruiser into a roadside bakery shop, killing one person and injuring four others sleeping outside. He was also found guilty of driving without licence, for which he received two months� jail term, and driving under the influence of liquor.

The actor had tears in his eyes when the judge delivered the verdict. �All charges have been proved against you...What you have to say? the judge asked Salman, who was in the dock.

�I hold that you were driving the vehicle. You were intoxicated. I also do not agree with your plea that the person who had died had received fatal injuries after a crane dropped the car on the persons underneath while removing it,� the judge said, rejecting the defence�s claim that the actor�s driver Ashok Singh was at the wheel when the accident took place.

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