Salman Khan convicted in poaching case, other actors acquitted

Salman Khan
Salman Khan convicted in poaching case.

New Delhi, April 5: In a major setback to Bollywood heartthrob Salman Khan, a Jodhpur court on Thursday convicted in blackbuck poaching case filed against him in 1998, media reports said.

However, actors Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan, Neelam and Tabu, who were co-accused in the case, were acquitted, said the reports.

Salman is accused of killing two blackbucks in September 1998 at Kankani village in Jodhpur, during the shooting of ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’.

While the arguments on the quantum of the sentence are underway, Salman’s lawyer has pleaded for the minimum sentence.

In case the court pronounces more than three years of jail term, Salman will have to approach a higher court for bail. However, if it is less than three years, the actor can apply for bail in the same court.

What is blackbuck shooting case?

A complaint was registered by the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan on October 2, 1998, against the actors, who allegedly hunted down two blackbucks during the shooting of the movie. According to the complaint, Salman Khan is accused of killing two blackbucks at Bhagoda Ki Dhani near Jodhpur on the intervening night of October 1-2, 1998. He was also charged with possessing a weapon with an expired licence.

Who are all the accused?

Besides Salman Khan, Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan, Neelam and Tabu — the case involves two more accused, Dushyant Singh, who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place, and Dinesh Gawre, said to be Salman Khan’s assistant.

What are the charges they face?

Salman Khan is facing charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the other actors have been charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code. Under Section 51, enforcement can be performed by agencies such as the Forest Department, the Police, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), the Customs and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Chargesheets can be filed directly by the Forest Department.