Manjrekar and Salman have worked together in films such as Wanted, Dabangg, Ready and Jai Ho among others.
"Salman is more than a friend to me. I don't know what transpired (in the case), the courts are there to decide. But today if you ask me what is your wish, I would say he should be released tomorrow. He doesn't deserve to be in jail. From two days my wife is asking me what is going to happen, and I am like, he will be out soon," he added.
According to the report, defence counsel Shrikant Shivade produced Tabu and Sonali in court one day and asked Bishnoi to identify the two women. He couldn't do so. When the court asked Bishnoi why he couldn't identify them even though he named them in his complaint, he replied that their unassuming attire of white salwar-kameez confused him. This helped boost Shivade's case that Bishnoi was not at the site of the killing but 150 metres away from it. The defence also added it would have been impossible to recognise people in the vehicle's glare.
While Salman's immediate future isn't clear, what is certain is that Bollywood will suffer a dent in its economic activity when it pertains to projects the megastar is involved in. If the worst were to happen — meaning that Salman will have to serve his jail tenure — then it would be another blow to an industry that is already suffering under piracy, streaming services, and Hollywood superheroes. Salman now has four films lined up — namely, Race 3, Bharat, Kick 2 and Dabangg 3 — and a TV game show, Dus Ka Dum.
While Bharat, Kick 2, and Dabangg 3 are yet to go on the floors, Race 3 is on the verge of completion and only a small part of the shooting remains. The absence of Salman from the horizon of Bollywood for a period is bound to spell disaster for single screen theatres which look forward eagerly to his every release.
The Bishnoi community continued the fight for 20 years and are celebrating the verdict. The perseverance and determination for the fight stems from the fact that the black buck is an integral part of the Bishnoi culture. While many may criticise the verdict as the court trying to set a strong precedence, the Bishnoi Sabha, which has been the primary complainant in this case, has also decided to appeal against the acquittal of the other four actors. The Bishnois, a prosperous and influential group residing primarily in Rajasthan, are unwilling to forget and forgive Salman for his alleged crimes, especially his acquittal in the chinkara poaching case.
Speaking to ANI, Bishnoi Tigers Vanya Evam Paryavaran Sanstha state chief Rampal Bhawad said: "We'll analyse the judgement. We want an immediate appeal to be filed against those who have been acquitted and we also demand maximum punishment for Salman Khan."
According to a report, a fan forcibly made his way into the security guards' circle and misbehaved with the actor. The bouncers, however, immediately pushed him back, steering him clear off Tabu's way. No official complaint has been filed yet.
Katrina Kaif visited Salman Khan's residence, Galaxy Apartments, after the actor returned from Jodhpur, reports Financial Express
Salman Khan waves to fans from his home in Mumbai, gets emotional while greeting fans
Salman Khan addresses fans from his residence after being released from the Jodhpur jail on Saturday. He is accompanied by his mother Salma, father Salim and sister Arpita's son Ahil. #SalmanGetsBailpic.twitter.com/8LCwkNk6ua
Salman Khan reaches Galaxy Apartments, reports India Today. The report adds that his younger brother Sohail Khan had accompanied Salman in his car on his way home. Fans crowded the area and began bursting crackers as the actor reached his house.
PETA condemns Salman Khan being granted bail in blackbuck poaching case
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has condemned the decision of a Jodhpur Court to grant bail to actor Salman Khan in connection with the 1998 blackbuck poaching case, reports ANI.
"While Salman Khan gets to go back home to his movie star life for now, blackbucks were made to pay the highest price, with their lives," PETA India CEO Manilal Valliyate said in a statement.
Terming the decision in the actor's case "unusual," the NGO states that "these days, wildlife crime matters are commonly fast-tracked, bail is often denied, and offenders regularly receive seven-year prison sentences."
Salman Khan's sister Arpita and Alvira and his bodyguard Shera accompany him as he makes his way home
Chronology of blackbuck poaching case in which Salman Khan was granted bail:
1-2 October, 1998: Poaching of two blackbucks in Kankani. Forest department registers a complaint on 2 October.
Accused in the case: 7 (Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelma, Tabu, Dushyant Singh and Dinesh Gawre).
Eyewitnesses: 4 (Chhogaram, Poonam Chand, Sheraram and Mangilal).
9 November, 2000: Cognisance and registration of case before Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM).
19 February, 2006: Following arguments, charges framed against all accused. Repeated revision petitions, first by the defence in sessions court and then by the prosecution in high court, hold up the trial for seven years.
23 March, 2013: Trial court frames revised charges against all accused.
23 May, 2013: Trial begins in CJM court. Total prosecution witnesses deposed before court during trial: 28
13 January, 2017: Deposition completes in the trial court.
27 January, 2017: All accused appear in court to record statements.
13 September, 2017:Prosecution begins final arguments in trial court.
28 October, 2017: Defence begins final arguments.
24 March, 2018: Trial court completes final arguments.
28 March, 2018: Trial court reserves order.
5 April, 2018: Order pronounced.
7 April, 2018: Salman Khan granted bail in blackbuck poaching case; he was sentenced to five years in jail. —PTI
Bishnoi Tiger Force president expresses disappointment over blackbuck poaching case vedict
Rampal Bhawad, state president of Bishnoi Tiger Force, said they are disappointed with the decision of the court to grant bail to Salman Khan and said they planned to challenge it in the high court.
The Bishnoi Samaj had registered the complaint against Salman for killing the two blackbucks 20 years back as they consider the blackbuck to be the reincarnation of their religious Guru Bhagwan Jambeshwar, also known as Jambaji.
Salman Khan will also have to appear in the court on 7 May — exactly a month after his bail, said a defence counsel. —IANS
Visuals of Salman Khan's supporters gathering outside Jodhpur Court to celebrate his bail. PTI
Visuals of #SalmanKhan's supporters gathering outside #Jodhpur Court to celebrate his bail | PTI
Relatives of Jodhpur Central Jail prisoners say police isn't letting them meet their relatives inside jail where Salman Khan was lodged
Relatives of Jodhpur Central Jail prisoners say police isn't letting them meet their relatives inside jail. 'It's for the 1st time I'm unable to meet my husband',says a woman who'd come to meet her husband in jail. #SalmanKhan who was lodged in same jail would be released shortly pic.twitter.com/jlGhdgoEkT
"Procedure at the jail premises is over. We are arranging security at the airport and security in transit. Once that is done, we will move him," Amandeep Singh Kapoor, DCP (East) Jodhpur on Salman Khan's release
Procedure at the jail premises is over. We are arranging security at the airport and security in transit. Once that is done, we will move him: Amandeep Singh Kapoor, DCP (East) Jodhpur on #SalmanKhanpic.twitter.com/juiSRYPXgM
Anees Bazmee says he wants Salman Khan to be 'free at the earliest'
Director Anees Bazmee, who has worked with Salman Khan on "No Entry", hopes the "Sultan" star will soon be out of this case. "I am very very happy. He is a family, a very dear friend so I wanted me to be free at the earliest from all this. At the same time, we have to follow the law of the land. We are hopeful the higher court will look at things properly and he will be out of this soon," he said to PTI.
Salman Khan's release order has been prepared in court, the order is likely to reach Jodhpur Central Jail by about 5.30, reports News18
Here are other Bollywood personalities who brushed with the law
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, slapped with a five-year jail term for the Rajasthan blackbuck killing case — and now given bail — is one in a long list of film personalities who have had a serious brush with the law, grabbing headlines over the years.
Immediately prior to this, his friend and another "bhai" Sanjay Dutt virtually created history by becoming the first major film personality to be convicted and also one to complete his full jail sentence. Dutt was sentenced to five years by the Supreme Court for illegal possession of weapons after the bloody Mumbai communal carnage of Decemebr 1992-Januarry 1993 and its fallout in the form of the 12 March 1993 serial bomb blasts, India's biggest terror strike till date which left 257 dead.
In June 2009, Bollywood was shocked when actor Shiney Ahuja was arrested on charges of raping his maid-servant.
Actor Sooraj Pancholi, son of Bollywood actor-couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab is embroiled in a case of abetment of suicide of British-American actress Jiah Khan, who was found dead at home in June 2013. The matter is in the courts.
Much deserved relief for Salman Khan and his family, actor Aftab Shivdasani on Salman Khan being granted bail
So happy for @BeingSalmanKhan finally, much deserved relief for him and his family. Can’t keep a good man down for long. Hope justice prevails in the case as i have full faith in the judicial system. 🙏🏼 #WeLoveYouSalmanKhan
Salman Khan to appear before court on 7 May to hear plea for suspension of sentence
District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi has asked actor Salman Khan to appear before the court on 7 May, when it will hear his plea for suspension of sentence, reports PTI
Cricketer Shoaib Akhtar expresses relief at Salman Khan being granted bail, says his 'heart bleeds for humanity'
Shoaib Akhtar had esrlier been upset that his "friend" Salman Khan has been sentenced to five years in prison in a case of poaching blackbucks. He found the punishment harsh but said that people must respect the decision of honourable court of India.
Finally Salman gets a relief from honourable court I wish 1 day in my life time i get a news of Kashmir Palestine Yemen Afghanistan & all the troubled area of the world are free bcoz my heart bleeds for humanity & loss of innocent life ..
No chartered flight booked to fly Salman Khan out of Jodhpur yet
According to News18, no chartered flight has been booked to fly Salman Khan out of the city, following the actor being granted bail by the Jodhpur Sessions Court. The last commercial flight departs from Jodhpur at 5 pm.
Salman Khan's "Dabangg" co-actor Sonu Sood tweets, "A good deed is the best prayer. Welcome brother Salman Khan."
Race 3 crew rejoices bail being given to Salman Khan
Director of Salman's upcoming film "Race 3", Remo D'Souza, told PTI, "I am happy that he has got bail. After working with him so closely I have become a huge fan of him not only as an actor but also as a human being. Almost 90 percent of the shoot for 'Race 3' is over and the remaining portions will mostly be shot in India."
Producer of "Race 3" Ramesh Taurani said he is "happy" that the actor has come out of jail. "For us, Salman coming of this was more important. Our prayers have been answered. The shooting of 'Race 3' is almost over, a romantic song is left, which will feature Salman and Jacqueline Fernandez." —PTI
Singer Mika Singh conveys his wishes to Salman Khan, says he will dedicate two songs to his 'big brother' at Indian Premier League
"Good deeds will always pay:" Director Subhash Ghai on Salman Khan being granted bail
Thanx God 🙏🏽 देर हैं अंधेर नहीं। Good deeds will always pay @BeingSalmanKhan a full justice finally. He has already been punished mentally for 20 years for his big mistakes n still waiting for justice. God bless u salman @beinghuman🙏🏽
Rebel Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla says he is 'disappointed' system can never be used this efficiently by poor man to get bail fast
Salman Khan gets bail...disappointed that the system can never be used this efficiently by a poor man to get bail in 48hrs! Big bucks buy u the lawyers u need.. chalo atleast those communalising Salman's conviction by saying a "Minority got convicted" will eat their words..
Filing Salman Khan's bail bond and his release likely to wrap up around 7.30 pm
Senior lawyer Bharat Bhusan Sharma tells NDTV that Salman Khan can be released after the bail order reaches jail authorities. Sharma adds that it takes about 20 minutes to fill a bail bond and an hour to process the same, following which the actor can be released. Sharma estimates that considering the process, Khan could be released around 7.30 pm.
Visuals of Salman Khan fans celebrating outside the actor's residence
When it comes to bail, not all prisoners are as lucky as Salman Khan
Infographic by Network18creative
Mahipal Bishnoi, the lawyer of Bishnoi community, tells ANI that Salman Khan will have to submit two bonds of Rs 25 thousand each
He will have to submit two bonds of Rs 25 thousand each, he cannot leave the nation without the court's permission and will have to appear here again in person on May 7: Mahipal Bishnoi, Lawyer of Bishnoi community. #BlackBuckPaochingCasepic.twitter.com/zPoAvtSL1W
Bishnoi community to approach Rajasthan High Court, next hearing for blackbuck poaching case on 7 May
The Bishnoi community will be approaching the Rajasthan High Court against bail granted to Salman Khan, reports India Today. Mahipal Bishnoi, the Bishnoi community's lawyer said to News18 that the 52-year-old actor cannot leave the country without the court's permission. Khan will also have to be present on 7 May for the next hearing in the blackbuck poaching case, the report adds.
Recap from Saturday: Salman Khan granted bail by Jodhpur Court
Actor Salman Khan was on Saturday granted bail by a district and sessions court in Jodhpur in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case in which he has been sentenced to five years in jail.
District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi heard the arguments of prosecution and defence which lasted for about an hour and pronounced the order at around 3 pm, a defence counsel said.
Khan's sisters — Alvira and Arpita — were present during the hearing. The actor had spent two nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail after his sentencing on Thursday.
The actor was convicted by a trial court and sentenced to five years in prison for killing two blackbucks during the shooting of "Hum Saath Saath Hain" in Jodhpur. — PTI
Celebrations outside Jodhpur court after Salman Khan granted bail
Actor Salman Khan is likely to leave jail by 4.15 pm, reports News18. The report also expands on the details of Salman's bail plea. The actor was released on a personal bond of Rs 50,000. The suspension of his sentence has been allowed, pending a decision on the appeal filed by Salman's legal team.
Salman Khan granted bail by Jodhpur Court on surety of Rs 50,000, reports News18
Actor Sonu Sood extends his support to Salman Khan
Salman Khan convicted in blackbuck poaching case updates: Salman Khan's defense counsel reportedly argued that there were discrepancies in the key witnesses' statements. Following this, the public prosecutor argued that the defense should bring forth these documents. The judge then ordered the defense to produce the relevant documents in the Jodhpur court on Saturday.
The public prosecutor on Friday said that the saying that the bail plea order for Salman Khan has been reserved till Saturday is wrong, adding that the arguments are set to continue in the Jodhpur court on Saturday.
The bail plea order was reportedly deferred because Judge Ravinder Kumar Joshi asked for records from previous cases judged by the rural court and high court, the prosecutor told CNN-News18. The arguments will proceed on Saturday. However, it is uncertain till what time they will extend.
Actor Salman Khan will be spending a second night in the Jodhpur Central Jail on Friday after the court reserved its order on the bail plea for Saturday.
The Jodhpur court reserved its order on actor Salman Khan's bail plea till Saturday. According to reports, the arguments were brief. "The case has been argued. It has been posted for Saturday. We argued that the circumstances relied upon by the trial court were already discarded by the Rajasthan High Court," said Salman Khan's lawyer Mahesh Bora to reporters.
Actor Salman Khan's bail plea hearing, who was convicted in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case on Thursday, has begun inside the Jodhpur Sessions Court on Friday morning.
Actor Salman Khan's bail plea hearing is set to be taken up at 10.30 am on Friday in the Sessions Court in Jodhpur. The judge has reached the court premises. The actor's Bollywood colleagues are hopeful Salman will get to return to Mumbai on Friday itself.
Salman Khan's lawyer told the chief judicial magistrate in Jodhpur court that the eyewitness account was not reliable. Quoting excerpts from the defence lawyer's arguments, News18 reported that the lawyer told the court that the actor was paying the price for his celebrity status and that the five-year jail term for the actor was too harsh.
The chief judicial magistrate, who was hearing the black buck poaching case on Thursday, pointed out the fan following of the superstar, saying he is a "popular actor whose deeds are followed by people". "The accused is a popular actor whose deeds are followed by people. Despite this, the accused hunted two blackbucks," Khatri said in his written judgment. "...considering the rising number of cases of illegal hunting of wildlife animals, looking at the circumstances of the case and gravity of the offence, giving the benefit of Probation of Offender Act does not appear justified," the judge said.
It was during a cross examination in the blackbuck poaching case trial that a crucial witness and complainant Poonamchand Bishnoi failed to identify Tabu and Sonali Bendre in court, that helped in the actors' acquittal on Thursday, reported The Times of India.
Jail superintendent Vikram Singh, while briefing the media on the celebrity inmate on Thursday, said Khan would be treated as a normal prisoner and no special treatment would be given to him. He will have a simple wooden bed, a rug and a cooler in his cell, Singh said. He added the actor was given dal-roti to eat. Sources, however, said the Bollywood icon did not eat the jail food.
A court on Thursday convicted superstar Salman Khan and sentenced him to five years in prison for killing two blackbucks, capping a 20-year case that began with a late night safari outside Jodhpur on the sidelines of a film shoot.
The Jodhpur court acquitted his Bollywood colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the "benefit of doubt" for the incident in October 1998. Besides attracting attention due to Salman's popularity, the case also caught the nation's imagination because it was the first time that five actors were involved in one single case.
"The accused is a popular actor whose deeds are followed by people. Despite this, the accused hunted two blackbucks," said Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri in his written judgment.
The verdict triggered a deluge of sympathy from colleagues for the "bad boy" of Hindi filmdom, whose career and personal life have been peppered with controversies, including a manslaughter charge in a hit-and-run case that is still pending.
"I feel bad. He should be given relief. He has done a lot of humanitarian work," actor-politician Jaya Bachchan told reporters outside Parliament in New Delhi, adding that the punishment was harsh.
Since morning, media crews, hundreds of stargazers and security personnel swarmed the court premises waiting for Salman and the other accused to show up. Large crowds armed with phone cameras lined up along the two-kilometre route from the court as the 52-year-old was whisked away in a Bolero police jeep to spend a night in the Jodhpur Central Jail. Within hours, social media was awash with photographs of Salman, dressed in a black shirt and jeans, entering the jail.
Animal rights activists welcomed the sentencing, and some said Salman should have been given the maximum punishment under the Wildlife Act.
Salman Khan is taken away from the court after he was awarded five years in jail in the blackbuck poaching case. PTI
"We are happy that justice has prevailed and a serial offender is behind bars. The judiciary has once again proved that the popularity of the accused has no bearing on the case before the court,"said Gauri Maulekhi of People For Animals.
As the sentence is more than three years, Salman will have to appeal in a higher court for bail. His lawyer, Anand Desai, said the sessions court will hear the appeal for suspension of the sentence/bail at 10.30 am on Friday. Salman has consistently denied shooting the two deer, as claimed by the prosecution.
Jail sources said Salman was lodged in barrack number 2 in a heavily protected and secure cell. He would have to spend at least one night in the jail until his bail hearing on Friday.
This is Salman's fourth stint in the Jodhpur Central Jail, which also houses religious preacher Asaram Bapu, who has been accused of rape. He had earlier spent a total of 18 days in the jail in 1998, 2006 and 2007, all for cases of poaching.
Final arguments in the blackbuck case were completed in the trial court on 28 March. In his verdict, Khatri also imposed a Rs. 10,000 fine after finding him guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, which prescribes a maximum punishment of six years behind bars.
The actor is alleged to have shot and killed the blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of 1 October, 1998 during the shooting of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Blackbuck, from the antelope family, is an endangered animal and included in the schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act-1972.
According to prosecution lawyer Mahipal Bishnoi, the actors were in a Gypsy that night with Salman in the driving seat. He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, Bishnoi says.
However, Salman's lawyer said that the fact that the court has acquitted all the 5 co-accused, "would imply that Salman was out hunting alone in the middle of the night in a remote area outside Jodhpur."
All the accused, some of them accompanied by their family members, were in the courtroom when the verdict was read out.
Salman's friends in the industry expressed concern over the verdict with some saying the actor was punished harshly for his star-status.
"I am extremely shocked," director Subhash Ghai, who has worked with Khan in several films, tweeted.
Neelam's husband, actor-director Samir Soni, said while he was happy for his wife, he believed Salman had been targeted for his star status.
"I have mixed emotions right now... It is a 20- year-old ordeal. I don't know why Salman was singled out. It seems his (star) status has come in the way," Soni told PTI.
Members of the Bishnoi community, mainly found in Western Rajasthan and known for their reverence for nature and wildlife, however, said justice had been done.
The case was under the national spotlight on Thursday with the media monitoring every development, his legion of fans tuned into social media and television and trade analysts watching anxiously to know the fate of the star who has an estimated Rs 600 riding on his next ventures - Race 3, Bharat and Dabangg 3.
Salman also had a jail stint in Mumbai when he was also involved in a hit and run. His white Toyota Land Cruiser allegedly crashed into American Express Bakery at Hill Road at Bandra in Mumbai, killing one person and injuring four on 28 September, 2002.
He was acquitted in the case but the Maharashtra government has filed an appeal.