10 things you absolutely must know about Salman Khan's blackbuck case
Mumbai: A Jodhpur court, on Thursday, convicted Bollywood actor Salman Khan for five years in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case. He will be spending the night at Jodhpur jail till his bail hearing tomorrow. Here’s all the other things you need to know:
1. Salman got convicted under Section 51 of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. The act prohibits hunting of blackbucks. The possible punishment for him was also somewhere between 1-6 years on this account. The actor however got 5-year jail term with a Rs 10,000 penalty before he could come back to Mumbai.
2. Salman will have to spend at least a day in jail as he has been sentenced with 5-year imprisonment. If his term was lesser than 3 years, he could have applied for bail. The minimum sentence is one year in prison, and the maximum is six years.
3. He could file an appeal in sessions or High court and apply for suspension of sentence (and conviction) and bail.
4. He was convicted in two other poaching cases by trial court, later to be acquitted by the Rajasthan high court.
5. The prosecution had filed appeals against all these acquittals and the cases are pending at various stages in different courts.
6. The other high-profile accused in the case were also present in court. Also in the dock were travel agent Dushyant Singh and Dinesh Gawre, Salman's assistant at the time. Gawre is on the run. The trial against the other six has been completed. Four eye-witnesses Chhogaram, Poonam Chand, Sheraram and Mangilal were responsible for the conviction.
7. The killing took place near a village of Bishnois during the shooting of the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ in September 1998. Bishnois are passionate about protecting the animals. On hearing the gunshots, the villagers had come out running and some were among the 28 witnesses who were interrogated in the probe. They gave the Gypsy a chase with their bikes after finding the carcass of the dead animals at the spot. The Bishnoi villagers had then registered a complaint on Gandhi Jayanti, i.e. on October 2nd against Salman, Saif, Tabbu, Sonali, Neelam and two others. They were later arrested by the forest department from October 12-17.
The case came in light of the judicial magistrate court 2 year later, i.e. on November 9, 2000.
8. On that account, charges were framed against the accused on February 19, 2006 and Salman was arrested on October 12th, for which he was granted bail, but he was convicted 8 years later, on April 10, 2006, with a fine of Rs 25,000 and 5 years of imprisonment.
A year later, on August 31, the Rajasthan High Court sentenced the actor to 5 years imprisonment, which was later suspended a week later on the superstar’s appeal. Salman Khan spent the week in the Jodhpur Central Jail, post which the jail dropped charges under the Arms act.
9. 5 years passed, and the Rajasthan High Court finalized charges against all accused, thus paving way for a trial. On May 23, 2013, trial began in the CJM court.
A year later, on July 25, the Rajasthan High Court acquitted Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the Jodhpur blackbuck poaching case. The High Court then said that there was no evidence to prove that the animals who were found dead were shot by the actor’s licensed gun. The Rajasthan government however filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on October 19.
10. On January 27, 2017, all accused appeared in the court to record their statement. On 15th February, Salman said the blackbuck died of "natural causes" and claimed that he was being "framed" by forest department officials. On March 28, Final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved the judgment.
Final argument by prosecution was presented on September 13, followed by final argument by the defense on October 28, 2017, and the final arguments were concluded on March 24, 2018.