A Jodhpur court held actor Salman Khan guilty in a 1998 blackbuck poaching case and sentenced the actor to five years simple imprisonment. A penalty of Rs 10,000 has been levied too. The court earlier acquitted fellow actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre, who were named co-accused.
The options for Salman to get out of serving prison time are limited but there still are ways in which the actor might end up spending the night in the Jodhpur Central jail. According to reports, the police have issued an arrest warrant for the actor and Salman might be taken into custody soon. However, reports said Salman’s legal team is ready to appeal in a higher court. If the higher court accepts the appeal, Salman might get bail and probably get back to Mumbai by Thursday.
However, the prosecution said that it is unlikely that Salman will get bail today. Speaking to News18, the prosecution lawyer said the legal team will have to work at a lightning speed if they want to ensure that the actor does not spend a night in the Jodhpur Central Jail. However, it is unlikely that Salman’s legal team will be able to get a stay on the order and also manage to get bail for the actor in a couple of hours.
The conviction of the actor came after 20 years of legal proceedings. The actor was charged with killing two blackbucks in Bhagoda ki Dhani in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the intervening night of 1-2 October, 1998, during the shooting of Hum Saath Saath Hain. He has been convicted under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, which carries a maximum punishment of six years and minimum one-year jail term.
A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local from the area, has also been acquitted, said Mahipal Bishnoi, the prosecution counsel. Final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court on 28 March, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved judgment.
Salman was facing charges under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. All the actors were in a Gypsy car on the night of 1 October, 1998 that night, with Salman Khan in the driving seat. He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, the lawyer said.
The prosecution demanded maximum punishment for the actor which is six years. However, the defence sought minimum punishment of three years and is trying to get early probation for the actor.