Salman Khan has to spend more time at Jodhpur Central Jail. His bail plea has been put on hold. Bollywood, the Hindi movie industry in India, is breathlessly waiting for the court's decision as more than $80 million (INR500-600 crores) is at stake.
Khan, one of the biggest celebrities in the Indian movie industry, has been sentenced to five-year imprisonment under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The actor was convicted of killing two blackbucks in 1998. The incident took place when Khan was shooting for his movie Hum Saath Saath Hain in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
His co-actors in the movie, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam, and Saif Ali Khan, were also accused in the case. While they have been acquitted, Khan was sent to jail for five years. He was also fined $154 (INR10,000).
Bhai, as he is fondly called, registered himself into Jodhpur Central Jail yesterday. He has been staying in cell number 106 in ward number two. Khan's conviction and consequent stay in jail have been a matter of massive media attention around the world.
Salman Khan, who has a net worth of $37 million according to Forbes, was given a basic meal (daal-roti) for dinner in jail. However, he did not have his dinner last night. Khan has not requested food from outside either.
While fans hoped that their idol would be granted bail at the earliest, it did not go that way. Salman Khan's lawyer has prepared a 51-page bail plea but it has been put on hold. According to the plea, Khan has more than 50 reasons to be granted bail, the Times of India reported.
However, since it has been put on hold, Khan must spend more time in jail. The verdict for his jail plea is due tomorrow.
Salman Khan's conviction is shocking for trade analysts whose estimates state that more than $80 million is at stake. It is unclear if the actor will be able to complete the shoot for Race 3, one of his much-awaited upcoming movies. According to trade analyst Komal Nahata, the shoot must be completed as soon as possible as the movie's release is due in June.
"It is a huge loss to the industry and trade as he is a big star who guarantees big success," the Economic Times quoted Nahata.