How Salman Khan got interim bail and made it home so quickly after conviction

Salman Khan arrives in a car at the sessions court in Mumbai. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

So how did the superstar return home the same day he was convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in jail? Legal experts say there were two factors responsible — Khan seems to have gone to court prepared with a course of action in case he was convicted; and, as soon as he was convicted, he hired the best he could find, Harish Salve, who has been described as the most expensive lawyer in India.

While most convicts do not file appeals until they have received a copy of the conviction order and prepared their grounds for appeal, Salve filed one based on the operative parts of the order that had been released to his client.

Arguing in the high court, he said: “We have not received the copy of the order. We have attached the operative part.”

Salve also said the grounds in the appeal were speculative grounds since they do not have the order, and therefore sought interim relief till Friday.

Read | Salman Khan verdict: How the hit-and-run case unfolded

Asked for his comment on the proceedings, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said it was not a first-time occurrence, but there was no illegality in it. “Normally we do not find the convict approaching the HC and asking for bail on the very same day. This shows that Salman had contemplated his next course of action if the verdict were to go against him,” Nikam said.

Nikam further added, “In a similar case of celebrity accused, the Aurangabad bench of Mumbai high court had cancelled the bail order of Gulabrao Deokar, former Maharashtra minister, but he approached the Supreme Court on the next day by filing a petition in SC and obtained a stay on the order of cancellation of bail.”

“The celebrity accused is always ready with all the weapons and this is exactly what Salman has done. Salman got the bail on technical grounds. A normal man does not think of such things but that does not mean it cannot happen. How can a common man hire such renowned lawyers at the last moment?” he added.

Added advocate Sharif Shaikh: “This is a celebrity case. If a layman had been convicted, he would not have been in a position to approach the high court so quickly. Even if he approached the HC, the court would not consider it in normal circumstances.”

Advocate Amin Solkar also felt there were probably mitigating circumstances that prompted the court to consider the application so quickly.

“It is a special case and there have to be special circumstances to grant such relief,” he said. “There must have been special circumstances stated by the defence.”