On Thursday, April 5, a court in Jodhpur will pronounce its verdict in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case against actor Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre.
How many such cases are there against Salman Khan? What is their status? Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com brings you all the details.
What is the case against Salman Khan?
Salman Khan was accused in four cases:
>> Killing of Chinkaras (endangered gazelle) in Rajasthan’s Bhawad area
>> Killing of Chinkaras in Rajasthan’s Ghoda farms
>> Killing of two blackbucks in Kankani village
>> Arms Act
What are the cases against Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre?
Unlike Salman Khan, Saif, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre are only accused of killing two blackbucks and not the chinkaras.
What is the case in which verdict will be delivered on April 5, 2018?
This case concerns the killing of the two blackbucks.
When and where did the killings of these animals happen?
The animals were allegedly killed in September-October 1998 during the shooting of Salman’s movie Hum Saath Saath Hain, which also starred Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre, in Jodhpur.
Who arrested Salman Khan and the other actors?
Forest officer Lalit Bora arrested Salman Khan after he received a complaint from the Bishnoi community.
Why did the Bishnoi community lodge a complaint against Salman and the others?
The Bishnois consider Blackbucks and Chinkaras to be sacred and so protect them from poachers.
What is the status in the Chinkara case?
In the Chinkara cases, Salman Khan was acquitted by Rajasthan high court in July 2016. He was charged under section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act. The state government has now gone to Supreme Court in appeal.
Why is the killing of Chinkaras illegal?
The Chinkara is an endangered animal and accorded the highest protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife protection Act 1972.
Was Salman Khan ever imprisoned in the Chinkara case?
Yes. The trial court sentenced him to five years imprisonment in 2006 but after spending five days in jail, Salman got bail from the high court which subsequently acquitted him and the case is now in the Supreme Court.
Was Salman accorded any luxuries in jail?
Odomos. Yes, he asked for and was given the mosquito repellant cream.
What has been Salman Khan's stand before the courts?
"I am innocent and I am falsely implicated," the actor has said. He also said that the forest department trapped him in the case to gain publicity.
The defence lawyer, Hastimal Saraswat says the two blackbucks died a natural death. The first black buck died because of dog bite and the second blackbuck died after falling into a pit.
The other actors too claim that they are being wrongly framed and charged in the case.
What happened to Salman in the Arms Act case?
Salman Khan was acquitted in it because of weak evidence presented in court.
What happens if the actors are convicted in the case?
Under Section 51 of the Wild Life (Protection), Act 1972, the actors can be sentenced to three years' imprisonment which may extend to four and a fine of Rs 25,000.