Khan loses appeal in poaching case


NEW DELHI -- Bollywood star Salman Khan lost an appeal Friday of his five-year prison sentence in a 1998 poaching case. An arrest warrant is likely to be issued against the actor by Monday, after which he is expected to surrender to authorities.

Khan was not present in court as he is shooting in the southern city of Hyderabad. Khan's lawyer, Dipesh Mehta, said an appeal will be filed in a higher court.

"A revision can be filed, and it's his right to exercise all options available to him," Mehta said. "Salman respects the court order."

The case is tied to a 1998 incident in which Khan allegedly went on a hunting trip and shot a chinkara, a protected and endangered gazelle species, which also is considered sacred by the Bishnoi community in the western state of Rajasthan. The incident is said to have occurred when Khan was in Rajasthan shooting a Hindi film, "Hum Saath Saath Hain" (We Are All Together).

Khan is one of India's most bankable stars and his recent releases include the Indo-U.S. co-production "Marigold," directed by Willard Carol and co-starring Ali Larter.

In April 2006, Khan had filed an appeal in the Jodhpur court that had given him a five-year jail sentence and $600 fine. Khan spent five days in a Jodhpur jail during that hearing.

Khan also is facing charges in a 2002 drunken driving incident in Mumbai, where he allegedly killed a person sleeping on the pavement. That case is still in trial and Khan denies he was behind the wheel.

Khan's bail rejection comes a day after another leading Bollywood star, Sanjay Dutt, was granted bail by India's Supreme Court in a case related to the actor acquiring guns from key plotters of the 1993 bombings in Mumbai that killed 257 people.