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All eyes on Justice A. M. Thipsay

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salman khanAll attention is focused on Justice A. M. Thipsay of Bombay High Court before whom Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s bail plea will come up for hearing.

The hearing is crucial for the actor since it is the final working day of the high court before it goes for annual summer vacations till June 8.

Salman was found guilty and sentenced to five years in imprisonment on Wednesday by Additonal Sessions Judge D. W. Deshpande, in the September 2002 accident case in Bandra which had left one person killed and injuring four other pavement dwellers.

Shortly after the verdict, the actor moved Bombay High Court where Justice Thipsay granted him two-day interim bail on medical and other grounds.

In a sudden development, Salman’s defence team decided to field senior high court lawyer Amit Desai to represent him in the high court today (May 8).

Earlier, senior Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve — who argued the interim bail application two days ago — was expected to appear on behalf of the actor.

However, Salman, who has been on bail since nearly 13 years, is not likely to be present in the court on Friday.

Well-known criminal lawyer J. P. Mishra said that in all such cases, the first appeal is “a matter of right” of any accused pending disposal of the appeal.

“Since Salman Khan is appealing against the Sessions Court order, getting bail will be his natural right,” Mishra said.

Mishra is renowned for fighting the anti-corruption case trial of 1990s against the former Maharashtra chief minister and union minister A. R. Antulay, who died December 2014.

Last Wednesday’s interim bail had come hours after Salman was found guilty and subsequently sentenced to five years in jail, plus a fine of Rs.25,000 by Additional Sessions Judge Deshpande.

In the significant verdict, Judge Deshpande pronounced him guilty on all the prosecution charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder, rash and drunken driving, driving without a valid licence and other laws.

The ruling came in the 13-year-old accident case when Salman’s Toyota Land Cruiser rammed into a bakery in Bandra west in the early hours of September 28, 2002, killing one pavement dweller and injuring four others, a short distance from his sea-facing home in Galaxy Apartments.