(AA) – An Indian court on Friday has, pending an appeal, suspended the 5-year prison sentence handed to one of Bollywood’s most famous actors earlier this week.
Salman Khan was found guilty on Wednesday of culpable homicide for a drunk-driving incident that killed one person and injured five others, 13 years ago.
The Bombay High Court’s order allows Khan to be released on bail until the High Court rules on his appeal on June 15.
“This is not a case where during pendency of appeal the convict should be kept in detention. This application [for suspension] is allowed,” Justice Abhay Thipsay said.
Khan was asked to furnish a bond of $470 to secure bail.
Khan’s lawyer argued that the court that found him guilty had not considered the testimony of Khan’s driver, who in March said that he, not Khan, was driving the car on the night of the incident in 2002.
In September 2002, Khan lost control of his vehicle and drove over men sleeping on a pavement, killing one of them.
The quick granting of bail and suspension pending trial surprised many in a country where the judiciary is often accused of working very slowly.
“13 years to convict. 2 days to get sentence suspended (pending appeal). Wah. Wasn’t that quick #Salman,” Barkha Dutt, one of India’s best known TV journalists wrote on Twitter immediately after the high court order.
One’s of Khan’s fans attempted to commit suicide by consuming poison outside the high court. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.
Khan has featured in more than 100 Bollywood films and has millions of fans in India and abroad, making him one of the world’s most famous actors.