Jodhpur – Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was convicted by a Jodhpur court on Thursday in the 1998 black buck poaching case. Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri will pronounce quantum of sentence soon. The court has acquitted other actors including Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam, Sonali Bendre.
The case involves the alleged killing of a deer when Salman Khan and his co-stars – Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu – were shooting for “Hum Saath Saath Hain” in the forests near Jodhpur in 1998. In 2007, Salman had spent a week in Jodhpur jail before the court granted him bail. Beside the cases of poaching of endangered antelopes under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, a case under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act was filed against Khan for allegedly keeping and using firearms with an expired licence in the poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1–2, 1998.
On 17 February 2006, Khan was sentenced to one year in prison for hunting the Chinkara, an endangered species. The sentence was stayed by a higher court during appeal. On 10 April 2006, he was handed a five-year jail term and remanded to Jodhpur jail until 13 April when he was granted bail.
On 24 July 2012, Rajasthan High Court finalized charges against Salman Khan and his other colleagues in the endangered blackbuck killing case, paving way for the start of the trial. On 9 July 2014, the Supreme Court issued a notice to Salman on Rajasthan government’s plea challenging the HC order suspending his conviction. Salman Khan was acquitted in the blackbuck and chinkara poaching cases by the Rajasthan High Court on Monday 24 July 2016.
On 18 October 2016 the Rajasthan Government decided to approach the Supreme Court against Salman Khan’s acquittal in two cases related to the chinkara (blackbuck) poaching case. On January 18, 2017: Salman Khan was acquitted by a Jodhpur court in an Arms Act case linked to the killing of a blackbuck in Rajasthan. Khan pleaded “not guilty” to charges of violating the law by keeping unlicensed weapons and using them. Acquitting the actor, the court said that the prosecution failed to submit enough evidence against the actor. On April 05, 2018 Jodhpur court pronounced verdict in blackbuck poaching case and convicted Salman Khan while acquitting Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu.