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Salman freed from jail, returns to Mumbai

Comments  Comments [ 9 ]    By IANS | 31 August 2007 | 11:12pm

Jodhpur/Mumbai, Aug 31 (IANS) Bollywood actor Salman Khan walked free from a Jodhpur jail Friday after spending a week behind bars and returned to Mumbai to an enthusiastic welcome from hundreds of delighted fans.

Salman was granted bail by the Rajasthan High Court on a bond of Rs.100,000 and two sureties of Rs.50,000 each. He was sent to jail Saturday for hunting an endangered chinkara deer nine years ago.

Wearing a white shirt, jeans and a grey cap and carrying a bag, the macho star walked out of jail and hugged his bodyguard as the waiting crowd clapped and shouted slogans in his support.

Hundreds of fans had crowded around the jail and also the hotel where his family was staying. They were also waiting at the airport to see him and police had a tough time controlling them.

Even in Mumbai, where he arrived at night, hundreds of fans had converged to give him a warm welcome. The actor drove straight to his Bandra residence.

Earlier, Rajasthan High Court Judge H.R. Panwar, while admitting his revision petition against his five-year jail term, said: 'Revision petition involves certain questions of law for determination, and therefore I consider it just and proper to suspend the substantive sentence of imprisonment awarded to the accused petitioner.'

He has been asked to appear before the court on Oct 24 and told not to leave the country without the court's permission.

'We had full faith in the judiciary, and finally we have been proven right,' Hastimal Saraswat, Salman's counsel, said.

Salman's sister Alvira, who was present in the court, became emotional after he was given bail.

The actor had been in the Jodhpur Central Jail since Saturday after he surrendered to the Rajasthan Police.

The actor was handed a five-year jail term under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, last April for killing a chinkara deer at the Ghoda farm near Jodhpur on the night of Sep 28, 1998, while filming Sooraj Barjatya's blockbuster 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.

In his bail plea, Salman stated that there was no evidence against him in the case. His driver Harish Dulani's testimony in the court was not trustworthy since he had been frequently changing his statements. This apart, the defence lawyers were not given a chance to cross-examine Dulani.

On Aug 24, the district and sessions court here had dismissed the actor's plea against the jail term.

Copyright  IANS

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