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Jodhpur court awards Salman Khan five-year jail in 1998 Black Buck poaching case; Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam, Sonali Bendre acquitted 

The actor is accused of killing two blackbucks in the Kankani village near Jodhpur in 1998 during the shooting of the film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.

Published: 05th April 2018 11:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2018 10:33 AM   |  A+A-

Bollywood actor Salman Khan arrives at the court for a hearing in allegations on Black Buck hunting case in Jodhpur on Thursday. (PTI)

By PTI

JODHPUR: A Jodhpur court today sentenced Bollywood star Salman Khan to five years in jail and sent him to the Jodhpur Central Jail for killing two blackbucks in October 1998, a prosecution lawyer said.

ALSO READ | Hyderabad lab's DNA tech helped clinch case against Salman

The court acquitted his colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the "benefit of doubt", the lawyer said. 

Chief judicial magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri refused to show leniency to the 52-year-old actor, saying Salman being a celebrity should have acted responsibly. The judge said, “Accused is a famous film actor and deed [sic] done by him can be followed by public.”

Salman, 52, was taken to the Jodhpur Central jail from the court premises in a police vehicle, police officials said.

As the sentence is more than three years, Salman will have to appeal in higher court for bail. This is his fourth stint in the Jodhpur Central Jail.

ALSO READ: All you need to know about the Black Buck case 

He has earlier spent a total of 18 days in the jail in 1998, 2006 and 2007, all for cases of poaching.

Final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court on March 28, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved his judgment.

Today, the court sentenced him to five years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000, prosecution lawyer Mahipal Bishnoi said.

READ | Bollywood trade analysts expect immediate bail for Sallu 

Held guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, he had faced a maximum punishment of six years behind bars. While sentencing Salman, the court also noted that incidents of hunting of wild animals have been on the rise. The testimony of prosecution’s star witness Poonamchand nailed Salman but no prosecution witness, including Poonamchand, could identify the other accused in the case.

The actor shot and killed the blackbucks, from the antelope family, in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of October 1, 1998 during the shooting of the film "Hum Saath Saath Hain".

All the actors were in a Gypsy that night with Salman in the driving seat.

He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, the lawyer said.

All the accused, some of them accompanied by their family members, were in the courtroom when the verdict was read out.

(With inputs from Express News Service)

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