Jodhpur: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was pronounced guilty by a Jodhpur court in the blackbuck poaching case filed against him in 1998. He was accused of hunting down two blackbucks in September 1998 while shooting in Jodhpur, Rajasthan for Hum Saath Saath Hain. His co-actors Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan and Tabu were also accused in the case but got acquitted.
Salman is facing charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. He was previously held guilty by a trial court in 2006 and was sentenced to 5 years in jail, of which he spent six days in prison before the Rajasthan High Court suspended his sentence. He was previously accused of poaching chinkara deer too in Bhawad and Mathania, Jodhpur but was acquitted in the case. Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri announced the quantum of punishment for Salman after lunch-break and sentenced him to 5 years of imprisonment with a penalty of Rs10,000. He will be kept in Jodhpur Central Jail. Salman Khan is currently working on four upcoming flicks, of which the most talked about film is the third installment of Race.
The Bishnoi community had filed a complaint against Salman and his co-actors of shooting down two blackbucks in 1998 in a late-night hunting trip. They claim that the actors had escaped, leaving behind the carcasses of the animals after they were spotted and chased away by the villagers. The actor’s counsel had urged the court for minimum punishment. Under the section 9/51 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, section 9 attracts penalties while section 51 attracts 3 to 7 years of jail. If the animal killed falls under Schedule 1, the minimum sentence is of 3 years and the black falls under Schedule 1.