A court in Mumbai has postponed a five-year jail term handed down to ‘Dabangg’ star Salman Khan on Friday pending an appeal, just two days after a lower court convicted him of killing a homeless man in a hit-and-run incident in 2002.
“We cannot take pleasure in seeing someone inside (jail) while his rights are being decided,” Mumbai High Court judge Abhay Thipsay said after admitting Khan’s appeal against the lower court’s Wednesday order.
A criminal court had convicted Khan, 49, of culpable homicide on charges he lost control of his car when driving under the influence of alcohol in 2002 and rammed into a group of people sleeping on a pavement in the Mumbai suburb of Bandra.
Khan denies being behind the wheel, contradicting the testimony of several witnesses.
In March, the actor’s driver said he had driven, while Khan rode in the passenger seat.
Inside the high court on Friday, Khan’s lawyer Amit Desai argued that the criminal court had ignored evidence that a tyre burst caused the accident.
Desai also objected to the lower court’s decision to not take into account views of one of the passengers who was in the car when the accident happened.
Khan has been asked to surrender his passport and post a bail bond of Rs 30,000 (£300).
The high court will next hear the case on June 12.
Hundreds of fans celebrated outside Khan’s flat in a suburban seaside area of Mumbai, while shares of movie production and distribution firm Eros International surged as much as 8 percent after the news.
Eros signed a deal with Salman in December 2014 to release his next two films.
Shares of textile company Mandhana Industries, which works with Khan’s foundation to design and distribute the “Being Human” clothing range, also rose.