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SC notice to Salman after Rajasthan govt opposes HC reprieve



Times of India, Delhi, 10th July 2014


The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Bollywood star Salman Khan to respond to a petition by Rajasthan government which said it was wrong on the high court's part to suspend his conviction and sentence under Wildlife Protection Act merely to facilitate his travel abroad.

Khan was convicted in the black buck killing case by a Jodhpur magisterial court under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act on April 10, 2006. On appeal, the sessions court on August 24, 2007 upheld the magistrate's decision to convict him and sentence him to five years simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25,000. The HC on November 12 last year stayed the conviction and sentence on Khan's appeal.

Appearing for the state, senior advocate V Prakash said courts were traditionally reluctant to stay conviction in criminal cases. He said the HC erred by staying Khan's conviction only on the ground that it was coming in the way of the actor travelling to certain countries like the UK, which do not allow entry to convicts.

"The reason for suspension of conviction has been only for the purpose that the respondent/accused may travel abroad. Such logic is legally unsustainable and may set a bad precedent," the state said.

A bench of Justices S J Mukhopadhaya and S A Bobde, after a brief hearing on Rajasthan's appeal, issued notice to Khan and asked him to file reply within four weeks.