Salman's hearing deferred till Wednesday (Lead)

Jodhpur, Aug 27 Bollywood actor Salman Khan will now have to spend at least two more nights at the central jail here as the Rajasthan High Court Monday deferred the hearing of his revision and bail plea till Wednesday.

Monday, August 27, 2007 | 12:43:19 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Jodhpur, Aug 27 (IANS) Bollywood actor Salman Khan will now have to spend at least two more nights at the central jail here as the Rajasthan High Court Monday deferred the hearing of his revision and bail plea till Wednesday.

Salman's counsel had presented his petition before the court, seeking that it be heard on an urgent basis Monday itself. The court, however, said it would hear his petition Aug 29.

'The court can call for records on Wednesday or grant him bail,' said Mahipal Bishnoi, counsel for the Bishnoi community who consider the deer a sacred animal and launched protests against Salman. If the court calls for records from the lower courts, then the case can go on till Sep 3, he added.

Salman has already spent two nights at the central jail in Jodhpur. The celebrity prisoner, who was sentenced to five years in prison for hunting an endangered deer nine years ago in a village near here, surrendered himself to Rajasthan Police Saturday following an arrest warrant.

In his plea, Salman has stated that there was no evidence against him in the case and his driver Harish Dulani's testimony in court was not trustworthy, as he has been changing his statements frequently.

According to a source in the jail, the popular actor is not eating much, mosquitoes were troubling him and he had spent a sleepless second night in prison.

A source close to Salman's family said that his sisters Alvira and Arpita might try and seek permission from the court to tie a rakhi on him in prison. The festival of rakhi falls Tuesday.

Salman, who is prisoner No. 343 of Jodhpur central jail, once again had gur (jaggery), channa (roasted gram) and tea for breakfast Monday. 'He got up early in the morning, did some exercises and was offered the usual breakfast,' the source in the prison told IANS. He also is busy drawing sketches, he added.

Meanwhile, some of his ardent fans prayed at the dargah of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer, hoping for his early release.

On Sunday, Salman did have some reason to cheer when three of his near and dear ones were allowed to visit him and spend over 20 minutes with him.

Jail authorities had given special permission to Salman's brother Arbaz Khan, his sister Alvira and model-turned-actor and close friend Katrina Kaif to meet Salman.

Salman has been convicted of poaching 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'.

On Friday, the district and sessions court here had dismissed the actor's plea against the five-year jail term handed by the chief judicial magistrate's court.

In April last year, Salman had filed an appeal in the district and sessions court against the judgement of the lower court. The court had found Salman guilty under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

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