NEW DELHI: Salman Khan, biggest and most popular superstar of bollywood industry where he is known for his extravagant roles in the films. But now he is making headlines again due to twenty years old “black buck poaching case” where Salman Khan and his actor colleague’s from Hum Saath Saath Hain film; Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu accused of hunting down two blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the intervening night of October 1 and 2, 1998. The actors were in the city for the shooting of the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’.
Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in jail on Thursday for killing two endangered blackbucks in Rajasthan 20 years ago. The 52-year-old actor was declared guilty by a judge for hunting the rare antelopes in forests near Jodhpur while filming “Hum Saath Saath Hain” in 1998. His bail request will be heard tomorrow.
Salman’s lawyer issued statement, “We respect the decision of the Hon’ble Court. While we are studying the judgement it just came as a surprise, as the entire investigation, and facts of this case were the same as those for which Salman has been acquitted by the Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan in two cases, and even by the Hon’ble CJM in the Arms Act matter for the alleged offence on the very same night as is the subject matter of the present case. Also, in the present case, the Hon’ble Court has acquitted all the 5 co-accused which would imply that Salman was out hunting alone in the middle of the night in a remote area outside Jodhpur. We have preferred an appeal to the Hon’ble Sessions Court and applied for an urgent hearing today. The Hon’ble Sessions Court will hear the appeal for suspension of the sentence / bail at 1030 tomorrow.”
Salman is facing charges 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. His co-stars in the movie, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam Kothari, were acquitted. While Salman’s immediate future isn’t clear, what is certain is that Bollywood will suffer a dent in its economic activity when it pertains to projects the megastar is involved in.