SC declines to stay Salman Khan's conviction in black buck case

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New Delhi, Sep 5: The Supreme Court on Friday brushed aside Bollywood star Salman Khan's plea seeking suspension of his conviction in the blackbuck hunting case in Rajasthan so that he could get a visa for travelling to London - a condition set by the British authorities.

Wondering if a conviction was ever suspended, a bench of Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya and Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant asked in how many cases the conviction was stayed in appeal against the trial court order.

Salman's counsel told the court that the apex court had stayed the conviction of former cricketer and BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu but the court did not accept the argument.

As counsel for Salman Khan told the court that Bollywood star moved the application for suspension of his conviction by the apex court as it was requirement for getting a British visa, the court observed they "don't want to know what" Britain wanted and the "parameters of law are same for everybody".

"You get acquitted and then go abroad," the court told the actor.

Making it clear that it could not adopt two yardsticks in dealing with the pleas of the convicts, the court reiterated that "parameters are same for all" and there could be "no discrimination".

"Tomorrow every accused will come and say that I have to go abroad... please stay my conviction," the court observed.

As Salman's counsel sought time to file more details in support of their plea seeking suspension of the conviction, the court adjourned the hearing and fixed the next hearing for Oct 28.

Salman moved the application for staying his conviction in the blackbuck hunting case by the apex court as required by British authorities. The Rajasthan government earlier challenged the Rajasthan High Court's Nov 12, 2013, order tghat put his conviction on the hold. The high court suspended his conviction Aug 31, 2007.

The Rajasthan government proceeded against Salman as well as his fellow actors Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali Bendre on charges of being involved in hunting of protected blackbucks while they were in the state for a film shoot.

But it was Salman who was convicted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

IANS

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