Salman Khan has been convicted in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
The Jodhpur Court pronounced the verdict this morning. While Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam Kothari, too, were accused in this two-decade-long case, the court has given them a benefit of doubt and has only charged Salman guilty of killing two blackbucks.
Salman has now been sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment and will be charged a fine of Rs 10,000.
The actor would have secured a bail immediately had it been a sentence of less than 3 years of imprisonment as it could have appealed to in the Sessions’ court.
As per reports, when the court declared the sentence, Salman’s sisters, Arpita and Alvira, could not hold back their tears.
Soon after the verdict, Dushyant Singh’s (co-accused) advocate revealed to the media, “If the Jodhpur court sentences him for a period of 1 year to 3 years, then the actor will get bail immediately.
He can go back home and put forth his argument in front of the session/High court in the next one month.
If the court decides to sentence him for a period of more than 3 years, then the actor will have to go to jail. He will then get an opportunity to apply for a bail at the Sessions/High court in the next month.”
For the uninitiated, the case was filed after the Bishnoi community found two blackbucks dead and accused the cast of the film of killing the blackbucks on September 28, 1998.
The incident took place during the shoot of Hum Saath Saath Hain. Although in January last year, Salman Khan had pleaded that he is innocent and also revealed that he and his company were being falsely accused as they never went hunting due to security risks, but the evidence and the eye-witnesses didn’t allow the court to treat it as an open-and-shut case.>