“Khan had earlier spent a total of 18 days in the Jodhpur jail in 1998, 2006 and 2007, all for cases of poaching.”
RAJASTHAN: The Jodhpur court on Thursday sentenced Bollywood actor Salman Khan to 5 year prison term in the October 1998 blackbuck killing case. He has also been fined Rs 10,000.
He was found guilty of killing two blackbucks, from the antelope family, in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of October 1, 1998 during the shooting of the film “Hum Saath Saath Hain”. Salman, who has been held guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, faces a maximum punishment of six years behind bars.
The final arguments in the case was completed in a Jodhpur rural court on March 28. Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved the judgment for April 5 thereafter.
While pronouncing the verdict in the case, Judge Khatri called the actor a ‘habitual offender’. The other co-accused in the case – actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam – were acquitted. A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local businessman from the area, has also been acquitted, given the benefit of the doubt.
Beside, Salman Khan was also charged with two other poaching cases of Chinkara deer and blackbuck in Bhawad village and Mathania village respectively. He was acquitted in both the cases. The verdict in the Chinkara deer case was, however, challenged by the Rajasthan government in the Supreme Court, where the matter is currently pending.
“No immediate bail”
This sentencing effectively deprives Salman of accessing immediate bail, which would have been an option had he been sentenced to imprisonment of three years or less. Now, the only option he has is to appeal against the verdict in a higher court. His bail plea hearing is scheduled for Friday morning. He is likely to appeal against the verdict in the Rajasthan High Court.
Meanwhile, he will be taken straight to Jodhpur Central Jail from the court, where he will be spending the night.