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Actor Salman Khan Gets Bail, 5-Year Sentence is Suspended: 10-Point Cheatsheet

Salman Khan granted bail

The high court in the Indian city of Mumbai has suspended Bollywood star Salman Khan's sentence for a 2002 hit-and-run conviction, pending his appeal.

Khan was convicted on Wednesday by a lower court of culpable homicide.

The court sentenced the actor to five years in prison for killing Noor Ullah Khan by driving over him as he slept on a pavement. Four others were injured.

Many expected Khan to be jailed on Friday but the court extended bail. A final appeal hearing is due in July.

During his trial, Khan argued his driver had been behind the wheel, but the judge said it was the actor who had been driving, under the influence of alcohol.

Within hours of his conviction on Wednesday, Khan approached the high court and was given interim bail for two days, meaning he stayed out of prison.

The actor - who had faced a possible 10-year jail term - then went home, where a number of Bollywood stars have since met him.

In the high court, Khan's lawyers argued that the prosecution had not been able to prove his guilt, that a key witness had been ignored and that the actor had been given a harsh sentence because of his celebrity status.

Correspondents say Friday's ruling will be a huge relief for the actor whose sentencing had divided Indians.

A prosecution lawyer told reporters that as a convict, Khan would need the court's permission to travel abroad.

While Khan's friends and colleagues in Bollywood and many fans have spoken out in his support, others called for him to be treated like any other citizen of the country who had committed a crime.

On Friday, Khan fans celebrated outside him home - many were seen distributing sweets, setting off firecrackers, dancing and singing in his support.

Many fans also gathered outside the court. One, Gorang Kundu, attempted to kill himself by consuming poison.

Reports said Mr Kundu had earlier distributed leaflets in which he offered to be jailed in place of the actor. He was taken away by the police.

The high court's decision has also been criticised extensively and many Indians have taken to social media sites to express their unhappiness.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

The actor was not present in court when a judge said the 49-year-old can apply for bail with a bond of Rs. 30,000. He has to surrender his passport and can only travel abroad with the court's permission.

  1. This evening he completed bail formalities at the Mumbai sessions court. On his return home, he came out to the balcony of his apartment and greeted fans with a namaste, a wave and a salute.
  2. Later in the evening, he tweeted, "All those who prayed for and supported me thank u meherbani shukriya. (sic)"
  3. Mr Khan was convicted on Wednesday of killing a homeless man with his SUV after a night out drinking 13 years ago. The sessions court had found him guilty of culpable homicide and other charges including driving without a license.
  4. Lawyers for Mr Khan argued today in the Bombay High Court that his conviction should be overturned. The next hearing has been set for June.
  5. While declaring Mr Khan guilty, Judge DW Deshpande rejected his claim that his driver was to blame.
  6. The judge said instead of reporting the accident to the police, Mr Khan "hid" at home. "It is pertinent to note that the accused did not take any positive steps by visiting hospital to see the injured and provide medical aid to them," the order said.
  7. During the trial, the actor's lawyers claimed that Mr Khan had been drinking water and had climbed out of the car through the driver's seat after the accident because the passenger side door had been damaged.
  8. But several prosecution witnesses, including survivors of the crash, testified that Mr Khan was driving the vehicle when it ploughed at nearly 55 miles per hour into the men sleeping on the street near a bakery in September 2002.
  9. Since his conviction on Wednesday, Bollywood's top stars visited Mr Khan at his home in a show of support. House calls were made by Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn, Karan Johar, Sonakshi Sinha and Kareena Kapoor.

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