Jodhpur, Apr 6: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who was on Thursday sentenced to five years in prison after a court convicted him in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case, ate dal, roti, potatoes and cabbage in Jodhpur Central Jail. Salman has been lodged in Ward number 2 at Jodhpur Central Jail as kaidi number 106. Ahead of his first night stay in jail, the 52-year-old actor didn’t make any special demands and will wear his own clothes. Salman will be given the jail uniform today.
Following his conviction in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case, Salman Khan was made to undergo a medical test which revealed that he is not suffering from any kind of health-related issues. He is in ward number 2. He has sought bail but his application will be heard today in the Jodhpur sessions court. The prosecution alleged that Salman and other Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam went hunting on the October 1-2 outside a forest reserve near Kankani village while shooting for film Hum Saath Saath Hain in 1998.
While the court convicted Salman, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre – and a local, Dushyant Singh, were acquitted. Calling Salman a ‘habitual offender’, Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri found him guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 for killing two blackbucks, hunting of which is prohibited by law. He said in his written judgment that “the accused is a popular actor whose deeds are followed by people. Despite this, the accused hunted two blackbucks.”
Salman Khan has applied for bail and is most likely to challenge the verdict in the Rajasthan High Court. “Salman Khan can apply for fresh bail in Sessions Court along with his appeal against the conviction. Since he was already on bail during the trial and no adverse report reported against him, most likely he will get bail on that basis apart from other aspects of his family and professional commitments,” advocate Shahid Nadeem, a criminal lawyer practicing in Bombay High Court and Supreme Court, told India.com.
Salman had done this in in the 2002 hit-and-run case as well. He had challenged a trial court verdict that held him guilty of driving his Toyota Land Cruiser over people sleeping on a Bandra footpath in the Bombay High Court, which acquitted him of all charges later.
Salman Khan’s Blackbuck Poaching Case: Background
The blackbuck poaching case was the last of four cases against Salman related to the 1998 poaching incident that took place in Jodhpur. While the three cases, including the one in which the verdict was delivered yesterday, were related to violations of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, the fourth one was to do with an Arms Act violation. Salman was acquitted in the fourth case last year in January. The actor was earlier convicted in two of three poaching cases by a trial court. The two cases were related to poaching Chinkara, while yesterday’s third poaching case was to do with blackbuck.