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Indian court convicts Salman Khan in poaching case

05 April 2018,Thursday, 13:01



A trial court in India's Jodhpur on Thursday convicted actor Salman Khan and acquitted four other accused in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case.

The acquitted co-stars are Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam, reports Indian daily The Times of India.

Jodhpur District Presiding Officer Devkumar Khatri pronounced the judgment, while holding off on awarding the quantum of punishment for Salman right away.

Co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu were present in court during pronouncement of the verdict. There are two other accused in the case -- travel agent Dushyant Singh and Dinesh Gawre, Salman's assistant at the time. Gawre is still absconding.

"Argument on quantum of punishment is on. Salman Khan's counsels are praying for probation," NS Solanki, a co-accused's lawyer said.

The actors are accused of hunting down two blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the intervening night of October 1 and 2, 1998. The actors were in the city for the shooting of the film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.

Salman, 52, had earlier pleaded innocence in the case, claiming before the court that the blackbuck died of "natural causes" and he was being "framed".

Salman is facing charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the other actors have been charged under Section 51 read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code. Maximum punishment under Section 51 is six years.

The blackbuck is an endangered species and is protected under the Indian Wildlife Act.

 

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