JODHPUR - The hearing of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's plea for suspending his five-year prison term in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case, that was scheduled for Monday, has been adjourned to July 17. District and Sessions Judge Chandra Kumar Songara ordered the arguments to begin but Salman's lawyer Mahesh Bora wanted some more time. Heeding to his request, Songara adjourned the hearing till July 17.
Salman was seen leaving the Jodhpur trial court soon after. He had arrived here on Sunday. The actor was convicted and handed a five-year imprisonment on April 5 by Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri for killing two blackbucks 19 years ago. He spent two nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail, before he was granted bail by the sessions court on April 7. Both Khatri, as well as District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi, who gave him bail, have since been transferred in what has been described as a routine administrative move involving a number of judges. Salman's Bollywood colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre were acquitted by the trial court. Another accused Dushyant Singh, an area resident, was also acquitted. Salman was accused of shooting and killing blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on October 1, 1998, during the shooting of the film "Hum Saath Saath Hain". This is one of many legal battles Salman has faced in the last 20 years, including allegations of killing a homeless man while driving drunk in Mumbai, a charge he was acquitted of. He was also booked for keeping a weapon under an expired arms licence. A trial court had acquitted him. In other cases, he was accused of killing two protected chinkaras in Bhawad and one in Mathania. However, the Rajasthan High Court acquitted him in 2016.