A Jodhpur court has pronounced the verdict on the 1998 blackbuck poaching case whereby the main accused is Bollywood actor Salman Khan. Others involved in the case include Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu, and Neelam. All the actors reportedly went on hunting and poaching the deer in Jodhpur while they were shooting for their film Hum Sath Sath Hain in the city. Besides, two more men named Dushyant Singh and Dinesh Gawre were also there with the actors.
As per the latest report, all the 4 accused have been acquitted by the court while Salman Khan has been pronounced to be guilty. The maximum punishment for the crime is 6 years of imprisonment.
While Salman has been accused of killing two blackbucks in the Kankani village, the other actors are co-accused in the case. The complaint was registered by the Bishnoi Community on October 2. They also accused Salman of carrying a weapon with an expired license.
As per public prosecutor Bhawani Singh, there is enough evidence against the actors. It so happened that Salman was driving a gypsy and as he spotted a heard of blackbucks, he took a shot at them and killed two of them. However, as the gypsy was spotted and chased, they fled away leaving the dead animals on the spot.
The case was registered in October 1998 but until today a final verdict hasn’t been given. Although Salman was soon released in the same year he was then held guilty by a trial court in 2006. Charged under the Wildlife Protection Act, the actor was fined INR 25,000 and then sentenced to 5-year jail term. However, he spent only 6 days in jail and was then suspended by Rajasthan High Court.
Apart from this ongoing case, Salman was also charged with other poaching cases of Chinkara and blackbuck in Bhawad and Mathania village respectively. Although he was acquitted in both the cases, the verdict of Chinkara deer was challenged by the Rajasthan Government in the Supreme Court after which the actor has issued a notice.