Jodhpur court on Thursday convicted actor Salman Khan in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case and handed him a five-year jail term, while acquitting co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu due to lack of strong evidence against them. A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place, has also been acquitted, Mahipal Bishnoi, the prosecution counsel, said. Salman was also imposed with a fine of Rs 10,000. The actor’s lawyers will now approach the Rajasthan High Court for bail in the case.
Salman Khan, has been found guilty of killing two blackbucks near Jodhpur in Rajasthan nearly 20 years ago. The 52-year-old actor was found guilty of hunting blackbuck while working on the film “Hum Saath Saath Hain” in 1998. He was present in the Jodhpur court today along with his co-stars Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam. Salman Khan and the other actors were facing charges under the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
Salman was facing charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The other actors had been charged under Section 51 read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code. If the actor’s bail plea gets rejected, the actor may have to spend prison time till Monday, when he can re-apply for bail
The actor was called a “habitual offender” by Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri, while pronouncing the verdict in the case that had been under way for 20 years.