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The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Bollywood actor Salman Khan to respond to Rajasthan government’s petition challenging the state high court’s order suspending his conviction and five-year jail term in the 1998 black buck hunting case.
A bench headed by justice SJ Mukhopadhaya gave four weeks time to the actor to put in his response.
A higher court can suspend conviction of a person on an appeal by him or her. This means despite being pronounced guilty the convict need not go to jail until the appellate court decides the appeal.
Khan, convicted under section 51 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, was sentenced to five-year imprisonment after a magistrate in Jodhpur found him guilty for hunting down protected black bucks on September 29, 1998. The incident took place while the actor was shooting in the town for the film “Hum saath saath hain.”
His conviction was upheld even by the session court following which the actor appealed before the HC. On the actor’s application, the HC on November 12, 2013, suspended his conviction on the ground it was affecting his foreign trips related to shooting, professional commitments and other matters.
Appearing for the state government senior counsel V Prakash called the HC order erroneous.