Salman Khan's blackbuck poaching case: All you need to know about timeline
New Delhi : Bollywood actor Salman Khan is accused of killing two black bucks in Bhagoda ki Dhani in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the intervening night of 1-2 October, 1998. The actor along with his co-stars went for hunting session during the shooting of film "Hum Saath Saath Hain". Their alleged hunting angered the Bishnoi community and led them to file a complaint against the actors and a local who were involved in the shooting the animals.
In October 2, 1998, a police complaint was filed against the five actors Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam for allegedly killing two blackbucks in the wild forest near Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Besides, Salman has been accused of killing two chinkaras and a blackbuck in September 1998.
All three cases of poaching were registered. Also, one case was filed under the Arms Act were the Dabaang actor was charged for keeping an arm with expired licence.
Following is the chronology of arms act case in which Salman Khan is acquitted:
On April 10, 2006, Salman Khan convicted in the blackbuck hunting case and was charged a fine and sentenced to five years of jail. He was in Jodhpur jail for a week till the bail was granted.
On August 31, 2006, the Rajasthan Court has suspended the sentence and ordered the actor to not leave the country without formal permission.
On July 25, 2016, the Rajasthan High Court informed Salman Khan of all charges in the blackbuck poaching case. The High Court mentioned that there was no evidence to prove that the animals which were found dead were shot by the actor's licensed gun.
On November 11, 2016, Salman Khan was issued notice by the Supreme Court on an appeal by the Rajasthan government challenging his acquittal in blackbuck poaching case. The top court agrees to fast-track the case. The forest department recovered the remains of blackbucks after the poaching incident. A forensic report confirmed that the blood samples obtained from Salman Khan's car also matched with the blackbucks.
Bollywood actors Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu and Neelam are also accused in the blackbuck poaching case, while Salman Khan is the mainly blamed. It also involved two more accused, Dushyant Singh, who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place, and Dinesh Gawre, said to be the assistant of Salman Khan.
However, prosecutor Bhati says that Gawre never appeared in court and was made to disappear by Salman Khan.
Denying the court hearing, Salman Khan's counsel H M Saraswat denied allegations by the prosecutor. He said there were several drawbacks in the prosecution's story and it had failed to prove its case beyond any doubt.
“Prosecution has failed to prove the allegations. It engaged in tampering and fabricating evidence and documents as well as roping in fake witnesses to prove its case," he said.
"It even failed to prove that the blackbucks were killed by gunshots. Hence, such investigation cannot be trusted," Saraswat said.
“All of them were in a Gypsy car that night, with Salman Khan in the driving seat. He, on spotting a herd of black bucks, shot at and killed two of them,” Public Prosecutor Bhawani Singh Bhati said.
“But on being spotted and chased, they fled from the spot leaving the dead animals there," he said, adding that there was adequate evidence against them.
As of now, Jodhpur Court is set deliver the verdict in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case against actor Salman Khan on April 5, today.
Besides, other related actors like Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam also arrived in Jodhpur to hear the final verdict.