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Salman Khan gets bail on surety of Rs50,000; likely to leave jail today

Justice Ravindra Kumar Joshi finally pronounced the decision at 3pm on Saturday, after careful examination. 

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Our Correspondent

The Jodhpur sessions court granted bail to actor Salman Khan on a surety of Rs50,000. Justice Ravindra Kumar Joshi delivered a bail plea in favour of Salman Khan, releasing the actor from police custody till he appeals against his sentence in a superior court. The actor was sentenced to five-year imprisonment by a Jodhpur trial court on Thursday for hunting and killing blackbucks during his shoot in Jodhpur in 1998. The review petition has now been admitted by the sessions court. The actor is likely to be released from custody, after completing formalities, later in the evening.

The bail plea was submitted on Friday by Khan's lawyer, Mahesh Bora. However, the district sessions judge reserved judgment on the bail plea after hearing statements from both sides. The actor's defense received a startling news when reports revealed that justice Joshi, who was hearing the bail plea, was among the 87 district judges who were transferred by the registrar of judicial courts on Friday.

However, the actor's case was listed as No.15 on the roster of cases, giving the impression that it would be heard today. Joshi did arrive in court by 10am for the hearing, as was his prerogative. The justice met with CJM Dev Khatri, who had sentenced the actor to prison before returning to the bail plea.

Khan spent the second night in custody, and was reported to have brought to the court after a breakfast of milk and bread. The actor was joined by his sisters, Alvira and Arpita, at the court, as well as his trusted bodyguard, Shera. The actor was also met by a legion of fans who gathered outside the court impatiently waiting for the decision on his plea.

After Joshi heard arguments from both sides, he deferred the decision further till 3pm, when he finally allowed the plea. The sentence has been now suspended in favour of the actor on a surety of Rs50,000. The actor's counsel has also admitted a review petition against his five-year sentence.