Actor Salman Khan was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in jail by a Jodhpur Court in connection with the blackbucks poaching case on Thursday.
The actor has been convicted under Section 51 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
Since the quantum of imprisonment is more than 3 years, Khan will have to approach sessions court for bail. He has also been fined an amount of Rs 10,000.
The four other accused – actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam – have been acquitted in the case related to the killing of a blackbuck at a village in Jodhpur on 2 October 1998.
Here’s all you need to know about the blackbuck poaching case:
In 1998, Salman Khan while shooting for the movie ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ in Rajasthan, allegedly went on a hunting expedition along with his co-actors Saif, Neelam, Bendre and Tabu.
Khan was accused of killing two blackbucks in Kankani on the intervening night of October 1-2, 1998.
The killings angered the Bishnoi community, which is known for protecting animals. The community filed a complaint against the actors and a local involved in the killing of the animals. A case of poaching was registered against the actors on 2 October 1998.
Salman was facing two more cases of killing as many chinkaras (Indian gazelle) in Bhawad and Mathania areas in Rajasthan. But, the actor was acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in 2016. The prosecutors challenged his acquittal in the SC and the case is pending.
Charges against Salman Khan: Salman Khan is facing charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the other actors have been charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.
He was also charged with keeping a firearm with an expired licence and under the Arms Act. However, he was acquitted in the arms case by a trial court.
October 2, 1998: Bishnoi community files a complaint against Salman Khan and others.
October 12, 1998: Salman Khan arrested for killing blackbucks, an endangered species. Gets bail.
April 10, 2006: Salman was convicted in the blackbuck hunting case by one of the trial courts under the Wildlife Protection Act and sentenced to five-year jail, along with a fine of Rs 5,000.
August 2007: The Sessions Court upholds the conviction and dismisses the appeal of the actor.
August 2007: The Rajasthan High Court suspends the sentence. Khan kept in Jodhpur Central Jail for a week. Later, charges under the Arms Act against Salman Khan also dropped by HC.
July 9, 2014: Rajasthan government challenges Salman’s suspension of sentence.
July 25, 2016: Rajasthan HC acquits Salman in chinkara poaching case, saying there was no proof that the animals who were found dead were killed by Salman’s gun.
October 19, 2016: Rajasthan government files a plea in SC, challenging Salman’s acquittal in chinkara poaching case.
January 18, 2017: Salman Khan acquitted in Arms Act case.
April 4, 2018: Salman gets 5 years jail term in Blackbuck poaching case.