By Harsha Kumari Singh
The Rajasthan High Court today ordered that actor Salman Khan's conviction in a poaching case must not reflect in his passport, so that he can get visa for travel abroad. Mr Khan had appealed to the court after having trouble getting his UK visa renewed last month.
"We had moved an application in the High Court seeking a stay on his conviction order. After Khan's visa for UK expired recently and he filed for a fresh visa, he was denied the same because of the conviction order," said his counsel Lekh Raj Mehta.
In August this year, Mr Khan was given an UK visa on the second try. According to sources, his visa was rejected the first time because UK rules bar entry for anyone convicted in any court for any offence.
Salman Khan was convicted for killing two chinkara in 2006 and given a sentence of five years, which was later suspended. According to Indian rules, the passports of those convicted of any offence are stamped with the word "convict."
Mr Khan's lawyer said it was not clear yet if the actor will apply for a fresh passport, as he can use the court order when applying for visas.
Mr Khan is accused of illegally hunting and killing two chinkara and three blackbuck, both endangered species of deer, over a period of three days in Rajasthan while shooting the film Hum Saath Saath Hain in October 1998. Four cases were filed against him.
He was convicted in two cases and handed sentences of five years in one and a year in the other. He spent a few days in jail in April 2006 and again in August 2007 and has appealed to the High Court in both cases.
Mr Khan is also being tried for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in a hit-and-run case in Mumbai.