Salman Khan, the ‘bhai’ of Bollywood, was accused of killing two blackbucks 20 years ago in the year of 1998 while shooting for the film “Hum Saath Saath Hain”. ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ co-stars, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre were, however, acquitted in the same case.
A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local businessman from the area, has also been acquitted. On April 5, 2018, Salman Khan was also held guilty of the crime. However, the sentence had been given by Jodhpur Court. The quantum of punishment is yet not announced and will be done very soon.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri, while pronouncing the verdict in the case that had been underway for 20 years, called the actor a ‘habitual offender’. Judge Khatri ruled that hence the actor has been convicted, while the others have been given the benefit of the doubt.
Khan’s lawyers are currently arguing for probation and pleading for a minimum sentence. 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.
Khan may have to serve 5 years in prison, as he faces charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
Reactions came in from everywhere:
Judge: Why did you come to Jodhpur in 1998.
Salman Khan: To shoot…
Judge: You have confessed. GUILTY.
Salman Khan: … Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Judge: You have confessed again. ALL OF YOU ARE GUILTY.#BlackBuckPoachingCase
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) April 5, 2018
— Sumit M kadel (@SumitkadeI) April 5, 2018
The other actors were charged under Section 51 read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.
It was a long legal battle between the Bishnoi community, who are committed to protecting the species, and the Bollywood stars. The incident happened when the stars were shooting for Sooraj Barjatya’s family drama ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain.’
Blackbuck is a protected animal since it is considered to be an endangered species under Indian Wildlife Act. It’s poaching is a criminal offence under the Act. The section 51 of Wildlife (Protection) Act carries the maximum punishment of six-year and the minimum of 1 year jail time. The prosecution demanded maximum punishment for the actor.
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