In a major setback for Bollywood actor Salman Khan, the Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the Rajasthan High Court's order in the 1998 Black Buck poaching case, following which he would not be able to travel abroad.
"We have filed an SLP (Special Leave Petition) in the court challenging the stay of conviction granted by the High Court of Rajasthan. That has been allowed by the Supreme Court today, and we in the same reference, set two grounds. First, that it is against the rule of law and that has been upheld by the court. And, it has granted our leave," said Varun Punia, the state government's lawyer.
"As per this order, he will not be able to travel abroad, but can put forward his request," he added.
The Rajasthan High Court had earlier ordered the suspension of Salman's conviction in connection with the Black Buck and Chinkara killing case of 1998 as valid.
Salman was convicted in 2007 for hunting and killing two endangered Chinkara Deer and one Black Buck in Rajasthan in 1998. He has spent time in a Jodhpur jail twice. Both animals are protected and killing them is a punishable offence.
In 2007, he was sentenced to five years in jail and is currently out on bail in the case.
But in 2013, the Rajasthan High Court suspended the conviction to make it easier for the actor to travel to the United Kingdom to shoot for a film.
Salman's visa has since lapsed and under British immigration rules, a person convicted and sentenced to more than a four-year term in prison is not eligible for a visa.
The Rajasthan Government had challenged the High Court's order suspending the actor's conviction.