In a major blow to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, a court in Jodhpur convicted the actor on Thursday in the 20-year old blackbuck poaching case and sentenced him to five years in jail. Other accused in the case - actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam Kothari were acquitted.
The Jodhpur Court accused the stars of killing two blackbucks at Bhagoda ki Dhani in Kankani village near Jodhpur during the shooting of their movie Hum Saath Saath Hain in September 26, 1998.
The final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court on March 28, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved the judgment for Thursday.
Salman was found guilty in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case, while the other accused were acquitted by the Jodhpur court.
The Sultan actor faced charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the other actors have been charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code. Reportedly, he faces a jail term of around six-years.
After the prnouncement of the verdict, Salman's lawyer filed for bail in the high court and the bail would be heard on Friday 10.30 am.
LIVE updates on blackbuck poaching case:
# Hearing in the bail application of Salman Khan in Black Buck Poaching Case to take place tomorrow in Jodhpur Session Court.
# Bollywood actress Jaya Bachhan says Khan should be buried. She said, "I feel bad. He should be given relief. He has done a lot of humanitarian work."
# Salman Khan behind bars in Jodhpur Central Jail. Medical examination to be conducted inside the jail.
# Salman Khan taken for medical examination
# Salman's sisters Arpita and Alvira broke into tears post court's judgment
# Salman has been taken into custody and will be taken to Jodhpur Central Jail. He might share the barrack with Asaram
# Salman Khan sent to five years of imprisonment along with a penalty of Rs 10,000.
# Bishnoi community demands maximum punishment for Salman Khan.
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
# Bishnoi community to appeal against the acquittal of Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam.
# Quantum of sentence for Salman Khan to be announced shortly
# Prosecution seeks maximum punishment for the Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor, while Salman's counsels are seeking probation
Argument on quantum of punishment is on. Salman Khan's counsels are praying for probation: NS Solanki, lawyer of Dushyant Singh who was co-accused in blackbuck poaching case #Jodhpur pic.twitter.com/2G5ahqHFWl— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2018
# Salman Khan convicted in 1998 blackbuck poaching case, acquits rest
# Salman Khan pleads not guilty in 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
# Hearing on 1998 blackbuck poaching case begins
# Neelam is accompanied by her husband Sameer Soni for the verdict on the case
# Saif Ali Khan, Neelam and Tabu also reaches Jodhpur court
# Salman arrives in Jodhpur court along with his bodyguard Shera for the final judgment on 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
# Tabu and Sonali Bendre are on their way to Jodhpur Court
# Salman Khan's sisters Alvira and Arpita reached Jodhpur court
# Salman Khan leaves from hotel for Jodhpur court ahead of the verdict of 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
# Salman was tensed and sad, Jodhpur hotel staff reportedly stated
# The proceedings for 1998 blackbuck poaching case to reportedly begin at 11:15 am.
# Salman Khan's lawyer HM Saraswat arrives at Jodhpur court
# Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri arrives in court and will announce the judgment on 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
# Defence lawyer says, '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
# Security personnel deployed outside Jodhpur court ahead of the verdict on 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
# Superstar Salman is likely to get the maximum jail term of six years if proved guilty in 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
# Bollywood actress Tabu, who too arrived in Jodhpur for blackbuck poaching case verdict, was reportedly harassed by a fan. The fan had allegedly misbehaved with the actress and was pushed away by the bouncers.
# Salman Khan was accompanied by sisters Arpita and Alvira for the verdict of blackbuck poaching case in Jodhpur.
# Saif Ali Khan, who had reached Jodhpur on Wednesday, was quite agitated by media questions. He even misbehaved his driver and asked him to close the window, put the car in reverse gear or else he says he'll hit him.
#WATCH: Actor Saif Ali Khan outside Jodhpur Airport says 'sheehsa upar karo aur reverse kar lo warna padegi ek' to his driver when he was being asked questions by reporters. Jodhpur Court will deliver verdict in blackbuck poaching case tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/n6AYIcHgY8— ANI (@ANI) April 4, 2018