Mumbai, Apr 5 (PTI) Salman Khan’s lawyer said that they will appeal to the sessions court to seek relief for the actor, who was today sentenced to five years in jail in the 1998 black buck poaching case.

The 52-year-old actor has been sent to the Jodhpur Central Jail for killing two black bucks in October 1998.

Anand Desai, Salman’s legal counsel, said although they respected the court’s verdict, the decision “came as a surprise” as the actor had been acquitted in the previous cases which had the same facts as in this one.

“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 Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan in two cases, and even by the Hon’ble CJM in the Arms Act matter for the alleged offence on the very same night as is the subject matter of the present case,” Desai said in a statement.

“Also, in the present case the Hon’ble 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. We have preferred an appeal to the Hon’ble Sessions Court and applied for an urgent hearing today,” he added.

According to Desai, the sessions court will hear the appeal for suspension of the sentence/ bail at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.