A Jodhpur court on Thursday sentenced Bollywood star Salman Khan to five years in jail for killing two blackbucks in October 1998 but acquitted his colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre giving benefit of doubt.
Preparations for sending Salman to the Jodhpur Central jail are in place, Mahipal Bishnoi, the prosecution counsel, told reporters.
Salman was sentenced to jail for a five-year term and a fine of Rs 10,000 was imposed on the actor. A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local from the area, has also been acquitted.
Salman was found guilty of killing 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”.
Salman, who has been held guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, faces a maximum punishment of six years behind bars.
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.
All the actors were in a Gypsy that night with the 52-year-old in the driving seat. He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, the lawyer said.
Dressed in a black shirt, Salman reached the court earlier in the morning with his bodyguard. The other actors, some of them accompanied by their family members, were also in the courtroom when the verdict was read out.
Following the sentencing, the actor was taken to the Jodhpur Central Jail.
Incidentally, if the jail sentence had been less than three years, the actor could have applied for bail in the same court. However, considering his five-year sentence, he will have to approach the sessions court on Friday for bail.
Meanwhile, a number of Bollywood and TV celebrities took to social media to express their opinions about the judgment, with many calling it ‘unfair’.
Salman, who is enjoying a golden run at the box office, is currently working on three big-budget films – Race 3, Dabanng 3 and Kick 2 – along with hosting the reality TV show Bigg Boss.
His sentencing could severely impact the fate of the projects, which are worth around Rs 300 to 400 crore.Back to latest news