A Jodhpur trial court, today, has pronounced the verdict in the 1998 black buck poaching case that involves actors Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre. The court convicted Salman Khan, while acquitting other accused (Saif, Tabu Sonali) in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case. For the uninitiated, the actor was accused of poaching a black-buck while shooting for the movie, Hum Saath Saath Hain in 1998. Along with Salman, Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu and Neelam too were accused of poaching blackbucks during the shoot of their film in Jodhpur.
Reportedly, two endangered species, those are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, had been killed on the outskirts of Kankani village near Jodhpur. The 52-year-old had earlier pleaded innocence in the case(in January 2017); he had pleaded not guilty and 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.” Well, today, Jodhpur District Presiding Officer Devkumar Khatri pronounced the judgment in the 20-year-old blackbuck hunting case.
Although the actor has been convicted, the quantum of punishment is yet to be announced, which is expected later in the day. Salman has been booked under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the other actors have been charged under Section 51 read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code, Maximum punishment under Section 51 is six years. ALSO READ: Salman Khan Opens Up About How Black Buck Poaching Case Controversy Started In This Throwback Video
Take a look at what fans have to say about Salman Khan being convicted in the 1998 black buck poaching case:
During the final arguments on March 28, HM Saraswat, the defence counsel for Salman Khan, had said, “Prosecution has failed to prove allegations against the accused and has engaged in tampering and fabricating evidence and documents as well as roping in fake witnesses to prove the case. It has even failed to prove that blackbucks were killed by gunshots. Hence such investigation cannot be trusted upon.”