The court acquitted his colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the “benefit of doubt”, the lawyer said. Salman, 52, was taken to the Jodhpur Central jail from the court premises in a police vehicle, police officials said. As the sentence is more than three years, Salman will have to appeal in higher court for bail.
This is his fourth stint in the Jodhpur Central Jail. He has earlier spent a total of 18 days in the jail in 1998, 2006 and 2007, all for cases of poaching. 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.
Today, the court sentenced him to five years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000, prosecution lawyer Mahipal Bishnoi said. Held guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, he had faced a maximum punishment of six years behind bars. The actor shot and killed 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”.
All the actors were in a Gypsy that night with Salman in the driving seat. He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, the lawyer said. All the accused, some of them accompanied by their family members, were in the courtroom when the verdict was read out.