In a major setback to Salman Khan, a Jodhpur sessions court has convicted the actor in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case. The actor has been given five years in jail and a penalty of Rs 10,000.
The district judge will hear Salman's bail plea Friday 10:30 am, due to which the actor is set to spend the night at Jodhpur Central Jail.
What one can't help but wonder is if we will see the Mumbai miracle again. The actor had received a bail soon after the sentence in the hit-and-run case was pronounced. Will history repeat itself?
AS IT HAPPENED
- The medical examination of the actor has been moved to the Jodhpur Central Jail. Salman has now arrived at the jail.
- The district judge will hear Salman's bail plea Friday 10:30 am
- Salman's legal team is awaiting the order, after which they will approach the Rajasthan High Court
- Escort vehicle ready to take the actor to a hospital for medical tests, after which he will be taken to jail.
- Salman will be housed in barrack number one at the Jodhpur Central Jail. A warrant against him is being prepared
- Actor Alok Nath, who has worked with Salman in a few movies, spoke to a TV channel and said: "The verdict is coming out after 20 years. I personally feel that this kind of verdict is tragic. I would have appreciated it judges would have levied him a huge penalty and could have been used for their forest department. They should appeal in a higher court if they can."
- "We are happy with the judgment. I haven't read the complete order. Salman Khan has been given 5-year simple imprisonment and ten thousand fine. If he files an appeal and the court considers it, then he can get the bail," Public Prosecutor Bhawani Singh said.
- Now that Salman has been given five years in jail, he may share the barrack with Asaram Bapu.
- The actor has now been taken into custody and will be taken to the Jodhpur Central Jail
- Salman's lawyers will talk to the media shortly
- The actor has been sentenced to five years in jail and his lawyers are now set to apply for bail.
Some reports earlier said that he was given two years in jail, but the public prosecutor at the time had clarified that the quantum is yet to be announced.
Bollywood actor Salman Khan appeared before a Jodhpur court Thursday, April 5, as it pronounced its verdict in the two-decade-old blackbuck (chinkara) poaching case. The 1998 case, which took place on the intervening night of October1-2, also involves actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam, and a local identified as Dushyant Singh.
- Neelam's husband Sameer Soni told a television channel that he is glad Neelam is acquitted. He says that Salman has today paid the price of being a star
- While the prosecution has argued that Salman is a repeat offender, the defense has said that he is now a changed man and deserves leniency.
- Salman convicted, the quantum of punishment expected shortly
- Salman will be able to apply for bail immediately if the quantum is less than three years. However, if the sentence is more than three years, he may have to spend at least a night in jail, as his lawyers will have to apply for bail in the high court after receiving the sentencing papers.
- In case he spends time in jail, he may share the barrack where Asaram Bapu is lodged.
- A huge amount of Rs 1,000 crore is riding on the actor
- Bishnoi Sabha, one of the parties in the case, has decided to appeal against the acquittal of the other actors.
We'll analyse the judgement. We want an immediate appeal to be filed against those who have been acquitted and we also demand maximum punishment for Salman Khan: Rampal Bhawad, State President, Bishnoi Tigers Vanya Evam Paryavaran Sanstha #BlackBuckPoachingCase #Rajasthan pic.twitter.com/Jfn8Pf5Jdp— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2018
- Prosecution seeks maximum punishment
- Salman may face up to six years in jail under section 9/51 of Wildlife Act
- The verdict has been welcomed by the Bishnois, a traditional community that protects the deer.
- Salman lawyers seeking early probation during arguments for quantum
- Hearing in the blackbuck poaching case under way
- Other lawyers have been banned from attending the proceedings
- High security has been deployed due to threat to Salman's life
- Salman has arrived in court along with his bodyguard Shera
- Saif, Bendre, Tabu, and Neelam, along with husband Sameer Soni, arrive
- Salman's sisters Arpita and Alvira have arrived at the Jodhpur court.
- Saif, Bendre and Tabu are said to be on the way
- Before the verdict, Remo D'Souza, the director of Salman's Race 3, told New18 that the cast and crew hope that the case will be closed soon.
- "Salman never talks about the case while shooting for his films. Same was the case during Abu Dhabi schedule of Race 3 after which the actor left for the verdict. The unit and everyone associated with his big Eid release is hoping for a closure to this long stretched case with a favorable verdict," he said.
- Speaking of the case, Public Prosecutor Bhawani Singh told News18: "We shall wait for the court's order. It will be inappropriate for me to say anything now."
- While Singh may have refused to talk Twitter is abuzz with users talking about the case. Some do not seem too pleased with the Indian judiciary system and believe that the verdict will be in favor of Salman
- The court proceeding on Salman Khan blackbuck poaching case will begin at 11:15 am
- Salman's lawyer HM Saraswat has arrived at the Jodhpur court
- Salman is reportedly on his way to the court and is expected to arrive at 11 am with sister Alvira Agnihotri
- The Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri has arrived in court and the verdict is expected shortly.
- Salman had earlier said that he hadn't killed the deer and instead fed the endangered animal.
- "We saw deer fawn, stuck in a bush. The whole herd was there. He (fawn) was petrified. I took him out of there, gave him some water. The whole pack was there. He ate a few biscuits and then went away," he said in an interview with NDTV in 2009.
- The last time Salman was facing a trial in the blackbuck case and was sentenced to jail, actress and then girlfriend Katrina Kaif is known to have stood by him. She was even spotted visiting him in jail. This time the "Tiger Zinda Hai" actress seems to be MIA.
- The scene outside the court reminds one of the time when Salman was being tried for the hit-and-run case.
- Fans await the verdict with bated breath. On Tuesday, a teen girl from Madhya Pradesh is said to have tried to scale the walls of Salman's Galaxy Apartments in Bandra to meet him.
- High security has been put in place at the Jodhpur court.
- Saif, Neelam and Bendre's lawyer says told ANI: "If they are found guilty then there is equal punishment for all. Maximum punishment will be for six years & minimum one year."
Jodhpur: Police personnel deployed outside Jodhpur court ahead of verdict in Blackbuck poaching case. Saif Ali Khan,Neelam & Sonali Bendre's lawyer says,'if they are found guilty then there is equal punishment for all. Maximum punishment will be for six years & minimum one year.' pic.twitter.com/omRMnr3Weh— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2018
- A huge amount of money is riding on Salman with Race 3, Bharat, and Dabangg 3 set to hit screens in 2018 and 2019. Not just that, he has multiple brand endorsements and Salman is, in fact, pretty much synonymous with the reality show Bigg Boss.
- The actor is also set to host reality game show Dus Ka Dum, likely to go on air after June.
- The Jodhpur hotel staff where Salman is staying said that he was "tensed" and "sad."
- An eyewitness in the case has now told CNN News18, that Salman was the one who shot the deer, but it was, in fact, Tabu who urged Salman to pull the trigger.
- He added that Tabu had told Salman that the blackbuck was near enough to shoot.
- "Ab nazdeek aa gaye hai, goli maardo," Tabu allegedly said.
- Salman, who known for his movies as well as his witty comments, has quite a chequered past.
- The last time he made so much news was probably during the verdict of the 2002 hit-and-run case. The actor was acquitted in December 2015.
- He is also known to have quite a colorful love life and has dated a slew of women. One of the most spoken about affairs was with former Miss India Sangeeta Bijlani. Salman, on Koffee with Karan, had revealed that wedding cards too had been printed, but the couple split and continue to be close friends.
- He then dated a 19-year-old fan Somy Ali, but that relationship too did not last, thanks to his alleged partying and drinking habits.
- What will always be Salman's most talked-about and controversial relationships is the one he had with former Miss World and actress Aishwarya Rai. While the chemistry was evident in the initail days, the relationship was said to be riddled with abuse and quarrels. When the duo parted ways, Salman is known to be shattered. The actor had reportedly also created a ruckus on the sets of Shah Rukh's film Chalte Chalte, after which Rai was replaced by Rani Mukherji.
- Salman hasn't really had stable relationships since and reportedly moved on to Katrina Kaif and Claudia Ciesla. He is currently said to be dating Iulia Vantur.
- On her arrival in Jodhpur, Tabu was reportedly harassed by a fan. He is said to have misbehaved with the actor, but the bouncers managed to push him away.
- Salman and his fellow actors were earlier spotted at the Mumbai Airport and arrived in Jodhpur Wednesday.
- Salman is accompanied by sisters Alvira Agnihotri and Arpita Khan.
- Several media persons were present at the airport when the stars arrived.
- Saif was said to have gotten annoyed with the questions and even lashed out at his driver.
- In a video, Saif is heard telling his driver to roll up the windows of the car and reverse the vehicle. "Sheehsa upar karo aur reverse kar lo warna padegi ek," he is heard saying.
- The actors were in Jodhpur, shooting for the movie "Hum Saath Saath Hain," in 1998 when Salman, Saif, Tabu, and Sonali allegedly killed two blackbucks in the Kankani village.
- The villagers, mostly the Bishnois, a traditional community that protects the deer, then filed a complaint against the actors and the case has been going on since.
- Salman was convicted in one of the cases in 2006 and was sentenced to five years in prison along with a penalty of Rs 25,000.
- While the actor spent a week in jail, the sentence was suspended by the Rajasthan High Court.
- Salman was also booked in a case of illegal possession of arms as the license of the arms he allegedly used while hunting down the blackbucks had expired.
- The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.
- A bench of the Rajasthan High Court then finalized the charges against the actor in the poaching case, hence giving the trial a go ahead.
- Salman was booked under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the others were charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC.
- The final hearing in the case was completed March 28, and chief judicial magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved the verdict, reported the Press Trust of India.
The trial and arguments
The prosecution held Salman responsible for the killings and said that he was the one who shot at the deer.
"All of them were in a Gypsy car that night, with Salman Khan in the driving seat. He, on spotting a herd of blackbucks, shot at and killed two of them," public prosecutor Bhawani Singh Bhati had at the time said. "But on being spotted and chased, they fled from the spot leaving the dead animals there."
However, Salman's counsel HM Saraswat had argued that there was no proof against Salman and his co-actors. Blaming the prosecution he said: "It engaged in tampering and fabricating evidence and documents as well as roping in fake witnesses to prove its case.
"It even failed to prove that the black bucks were killed by gunshots. Hence, such investigation cannot be trusted."
The court then said that there was not enough evidence to prove that the shots were fired from Salman's gun.
Why it is illegal to hunt blackbucks
Even though blackbucks were often hunted in princely states before, the population saw a drastic drop in the 20th century. Blackbucks are now considered endangered and protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act. The punishment for hunting blackbuck is up to six years in prison.