Hours after Salman Khan was convicted and sentenced to five-year jail by a Jodhpur court in connection with the blackbuck poaching case on Thursday, his lawyer Anand Desai said that although “we respect the decision of the court but the judgment just came as a surprise”.

“We have preferred an appeal to the honouable sessions court and applied for an urgent hearing today. The honourable sessions court will hear the appeal for suspension of the sentence / bail at 10.30 tomorrow,” said Desai in a statement.

“We respect the decision of the Hon’ble Court. While we are studying the judgement it just came as a surprise, as the entire investigation, and facts of this case were the same as those for which Salman has been acquitted by the High Court of Rajasthan in two cases,” said Desai.

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On the ‘surprise’ judgment, Desai further said that Salman was even acquitted by the Chief Judicial Magisterate (CJM) in the Arms Act matter for the alleged offence on the very same night as is the subject matter of the present case.

Also, in the present case, the Court has acquitted all the 5 co-accused which would imply that Salman was out hunting alone in the middle of the night in a remote area outside Jodhpur, said Anand Desai.

On Thursday, actor Salman Khan was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in jail by a Jodhpur Court in connection with the blackbuck poaching case.

The actor has been convicted under Section 51 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

The four other accused – actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam – have been acquitted in the case related to the killing of a blackbuck at a village in Jodhpur on 2 October 1998.