Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was granted a bail in the Blackbuck Poaching Case on Saturday, April 7. He had been sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment in the 19-year-old Blackbuck Poaching (a rare and endangered antelope species) Case, 1998 on April 5 and now, this sentence remains suspended till the Court decides on his appeal against the conviction.
Others involved, namely, actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam , and Jodhpur resident Dushyant Singh, have been acquitted.
It all happened 20 years ago, when the 52-year-old was shooting for the superhit family drama, Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Briefing on the Case- ACCUSATIONS :
• Killed two blackbucks/chinkaras (Indian gazelle) at Bhavad village in Rajasthan in September, 1998.
• Killed another chinkara at the Ghoda farms the following month.
• Killed two more near Kankani village in the state in the same month.
• Used firearms with alleged expired licences.
THE SENTENCE :
On April 5, Khan was sentenced to a jail term of 5 years and a fine of Rs. 10,000 was imposed on him with regard to the killing of the rare antelopes. The case falls under Section 9 and Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
Picture courtesy: Wildventures
The charges against the others come under Section 149 (Unlawful Assembly) of the IPC and they had been acquitted on grounds of insufficient evidence.
Picture Courtsey: India.com
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CASE: SUGGESTIVE OF FURTHER POSITIVE PROSPECTS FOR BHAI?
• 1998-Case brought against Khan by members of the Bishnoi community, who revere antelopes.
• 2006 – Convicted under Wildlife Act for killing two chinkaras at Bhavad. One year jail term. Overturned after an appeal.
• 2006- Accused of hunting a blackbuck in Ghoda farms. Sessions Court gave a verdict for a five-year jail term. Received bail.
• 2013- Rajasthan High Court suspends the 5-year jail term.
• 2016- Acquitted by the High Court in the chinkara poaching cases.
• 2017- Acquitted in the Arms Case for possessing arms with expired licences during the hunting.
SALMAN KHAN PLEADED ‘NOT GUILTY’, claiming that the antelope died of ‘natural cause’ and that the evidences against him were unreliable. In fact, his lawyer, Mr. Anand Desai said the judgement came as a “surprise”.
Khan’s team had prepared pre-order bail bonds and presented it during the hearing.
APRIL 6: A plea for the actor’s bail was presented before the Additional Sessions Judge along with a petition against the Magistrate’s judgement, seeking a suspension of the 5-year-term in prison.
The much-loved Salman Khan spent two nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail before e was acquitted on bail.
APRIL 7: Khan released on a bail bond of Rs 50,000. He cannot leave the country without the Court’s permission.
This is not the end of it. Salman Khan has been directed to appear in the Appellate Court next on May 7 for the hearing on his appeal against the 5-year-jail-term sentence.