New Delhi: The Jodhpur Court on Monday has adjourned the hearing against the acquittal of Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam, and Dushyant Singh in connection with the 1998 blackbuck poaching case till September 16. Notably, the state government had challenged their acquittal stating they were equally involved in killing the blackbucks during the shoot of Hum Saath Saath Hai in 1998.
In May this year, the Jodhpur bench of Rajasthan High Court had issued fresh notices to the actors who were previously acquitted by the court on the basis of ‘lack of evidence’. Salman Khan was the only one convicted on April 5, 2018 in connection with the case. He was sentenced to five years of imprisonment but after spending only two nights in jail he was granted bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the amount. Later, he was acquitted after spending only two nights in jail.
Blackbucks fall under the endangered category and its hunting is prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act. The actors were reportedly in a vehicle which Salman was driving when they spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them.
In January 2017, Salman had pleaded not guilty and had said in a statement, “Only the first forensic report of Dr Nepalia saying that the animal died of ‘natural causes’ was true and the rest of the evidence is false.”