LONDON — Bollywood star Salman Khan walks free for now after the Bombay High Court suspended his conviction and five-year prison sentence for a 2002 hit and run case fatal hit-and-run case that killed one person and injured others, on Friday.
On Wednesday, a Sessions Court had found Khan guilty after a protracted, 13-year process, and within hours, the High Court granted the actor interim bail until Friday, which is now extended.
Khan’s appeal will be next heard in July. He will have to seek court permission to travel overseas.
The case is likely to drag on for years because even if the High Court upholds the conviction and sentence, Khan can appeal in the Supreme Court. The final conviction of Khan’s fellow star Sanjay Dutt, arrested in 1993 for illegal possession of arms, happened in 2013. Dutt is let out from jail time and again on furlough.
Salman Khan was not required to be present at the High Court during the bail hearing.
Meanwhile, the news of Khan’s bail has sparked wild scenes of celebrations amongst his fans across India. His next release “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” a co-production between the actor’s own Salman Khan Productions and director Kabir Khan’s Kabir Khan Productions, will be distributed by Eros International on July 17.