Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been handed a five year imprisonment by a court in Jodhpur in connection with the killing of a blackbuck on 2 October 1998 at Kankani village in Jodhpur. He has also been fined an amount of Rs 10,000.
Since the quantum of imprisonment is more than 3 years, Khan will have to approach sessions court for bail.
Demanding maximum punishment in the case under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, the prosecution had argued that Khan was a repeat offender. The actor’s counsel pleaded in the chief judicial magistrate (Jodhpur Rural) court for minimum punishment citing his “social work”.
Salman Khan was on Thursday found guilty under Section 51 of the Act while he was in Jodhpur during the shooting of ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’. Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and Tabu, who were the co-accused in the case, were acquitted.
The five Bollywood actors had reached Jodhpur on Wednesday night to attend the hearing on Thursday in the court of chief judicial magistrate (Jodhpur Rural), which put a closure, for the time being, on the case that has been pending for 20 years.
On 28 March, Judge Dev Kumar Khatri reserved the order after the final arguments were heard.
The actor was sentenced to five years in prison after he was convicted in 2006 in one of the two cases related to the killing of Chinkara deer. He spent a week in jail. His sentence was suspended by the Rajasthan High Court.
Charges in the Arms Act against the actor for possession of an unlicensed gun were dropped.
For the past 20 years, the witnesses from the Bishnoi community – which reveres the blackbuck – have maintained that Salman killed the two blackbucks.
The Rajasthan government has challenged his acquittal in the Chinkara deer case in the Supreme Court.