The Rajasthan high court on Tuesday stayed the five-year jail term awarded to actor Salman Khan in a black buck poaching case. The stay will allow Salman to apply for visa to any country including those who have, after the recent amendment in immigration rules, prohibited visa for any person who has been convicted for more than four years.
Salman was convicted by a CJM court on April 10, 2006 for poaching a black buck in Mathania in Jodhpur on the intervening night of September 28-29, 1998. He was tried under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and was sentenced to five years in jail with a fine of Rs 25,000.
"We had moved an application in the high court seeking a stay on the conviction after Khan's visa for UK expired recently and when he filed for fresh visa, he was denied the same because of the conviction order," said his counsel Lekh Raj Mehta.
His assistant Ramit Mehta said that they argued in the court that Khan's profession demanded him to visit foreign countries and huge money was at stake. "If he is not allowed to visit foreign countries scheduled for shooting, the films cannot be shot and his right to livelihood violated," Mehta argued.
Objecting to these arguments, additional advocate general R L Jangid argued that this was not a rarest of the rare case and also the Section of CrPC under which the application has been moved was not maintainable. The prosecution also raised the point over Khan's conduct referring to two cases in Jodhpur and one case in Mumbai pending against him.
But rejecting the arguments of prosecution, Justice Nirmal Jeet Kaur allowed the application of defence seeking stay on the conviction and said that it would no more come in his way of seeking visa for any country and travel abroad.