Salman Khan to spend weekend in jail after 5 year sentence in Blackbuck case
The final hearing on the 19-year-old blackbuck poaching case did not go down well for Bollywood star Salman Khan. The actor was on Thursday sentenced to five years in jail in the case by a Jodhpur Court. The others accused in the case, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam were acquitted of all charges.
The ruling delivered by Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri also attached a penalty of Rs 10, 000 for Khan. It is reported that eye witnesses to the poaching incident in 1998 helped convict Khan. This added to forensic and DNA reports from the case helped deliver the judgment. The 5 year jail term means Khan will not be able to get immediate bail. The actor will have to spend at least the weekend in Jodhpur Central jail where he was taken after the hearing. He has been convicted under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act which keeps the blackbucks under endangered category. Khan is reported to have killed two of these.
While prosecution fighting on behalf of the Bishnoi community which revere the animal, had argued for maximum punishment of 6 years for Khan, defense lawyers argued for two years under. If he was granted two years then Khan would have been eligible for immediate bail.
The incident happened during the filming of 1998 Hum Saath Saath Hain, the group consisting of all those accused had gone on a hunting expedition. It elongated for 20 years with the hearing last year held on January 2017.