A court in Jodhpur judged actor Salman Khan guilty in the 20-year-old blackbuck poaching case. He is sentenced to five years in prison and has already been sent to the Jodhpur Central Jail.
The Blackbuck poaching case had started off when on October 2, 1998, Salman allegedly shot and killed two blackbucks in a village in Jodhpur. Along with him were actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu, who reportedly incited him to kill the animals. At that time, the group was in Jodhpur to shoot for Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Blackbucks are an endangered species and are protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act. Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre and Tabu were charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.Here’s a breakdown of how the case panned out over the years.
1998September 26: Salman was accused of hunting down two chinkaras in Mathania in Jodhpur. Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu who were shooting for Hum Saath Saath Hain were seen hunting two blackbucks.
September 28: Salman was accused of hunting another chinkara at Ghoda farms.
October 2: Complaint filed against Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu by the Bishnoi community. They were charged with killing the blackbucks.
October 12: Salman was arrested and granted bail.
April 10: Salman was convicted in the blackbuck hunting case and was slapped a fine, along with five years jail time. He was granted bail after a week in jail.
August 31: the Rajasthan court suspended the sentence and had ordered Salman to not leave the country without permission.
December 2012: the Rajasthan High Court revised the charges against Salman. Fresh charges were slapped on him on Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
July 25: The Rajasthan High Court acquitted Salman of all charges in the blackbuck case citing lack of evidence to prove that the animals were indeed shot by the actor’s gun.
November 11: Salman has issued a notice by the Supreme Court after an appeal from the Rajasthan government which challenged his acquittal.
April 5: A court in Jodhpur delivered the verdict on the 1998 blackbuck poaching case. Salman Khan was convicted of his crimes while the other accused, actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam were let off.