Blackbuck case: Salman Khan in jail for 1 more day; bail tomorrow? updates

Bollywood actor Salman Khan was on Thursday pronounced guilty and sentenced to 5 years in jail in the Blackbuck poaching case of 1998. Jodhpur sessions court will decide on his bail plea today

Salman Khan

District and Sessions Court Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi on Friday adjourned Bollywood star Salman Khan’s bail hearing in a 1998 blackbuck poaching case to Saturday. Joshi told the media here that he has reserved the judgment till April 7, which means, Salman Khan will have to spend yet another night in prison. Pronouncing the verdict in the 20-year-old case, another court in Jodhpur had on Thursday convicted the actor and sentenced him to five years in jail. The other co-accused in the case — Tabu, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam — meanwhile, were cleared of all charges. Additonally, a penalty of Rs 10,000 was also imposed on Khan. | Today’s Paper

The actor is accused of killing two blackbucks in the Kankani village near Jodhpur in 1998 during the shooting of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.

He was charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and others under Section 51 read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code. With this, the Sword of Damocles now hangs over Salman Khan’s ongoing projects. He is slated to star in four major films over the next two years — Race 3, Dabangg 3, Kick 2 and Bharat. While the last three are in pre-production stages, Race 3 is in production in the UAE. Trade analysts said the Rs 4-5 billion riding on these films might be affected by his sentencing. Amid tight security, Salman was taken to the Jodhpur Central Jail where he spent the night in barrack number one. The prison also houses rape-accused Asaram Bapu, Bhanwari Devi murder accused Malkhan Singh Vishnoi, and Shambhu Lal Regar, arrested for killing a Muslim and blatantly filming the act.

Here are top 10 developments related to the 1998 Salman Khan Blackbuck poaching case in which Khan has been sentenced to 5 years in jail and other co-accused have been acquitted:

What happened in court today:

Salman Khan’s bodyguard Shera and sisters were present in the court.

The prosecution said, “we wanted maximum punishment”

Mahipal Bishnoi, counsel for the Bishnoi community, had said on Thursday, “After the court convicted Khan under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment along with a monetary fine of Rs 10,000. We had asked for maximum punishment available under the provisions of the Act, which is six years, but the court sentenced him to five years. From the beginning, our case was strong because of watertight evidence and the fact that the witnesses stuck to their statements.”

Jodhpur Session court seeks report on Blackbuck poaching case: According to reports, the sessions court has sought a detailed report on the blackbuck poaching case from the trial court.

Salman Khan’s bail order reserved for Saturday: The Jodhpur Session court will announce its decision at 10:30 am tomorrow.

Statements against Salman Khan false: During the hearing, Salman’s counsel argued that the witnesses’ statements were not reliable and had discrepancies. To this, the public prosecutor retorted that the counsel must then prove these statements wrong.

1. Salman Khan’s bail hearing underway: While Salman Khan fans gathered outside Jodhpur Session court, his lawyer stepped into the room where his fate will be declared. Salman Khan had to spend the night in Jodhpur Central jail after being held guilty in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case on Thursday, but Friday might be a better day for him. His lawyer Hastimal Saraswat is ready with a 51-page bail application, where 54 grounds have been raised for the judge to consider and grant the convicted actor bail. Speaking to a news channel, he said: “If it was not Salman Khan, bail would have been granted the next day.

2. Key witness did not identify Tabu, Sonali Bendre in court: A crucial eyewitness failed to recognise Tabu and Sonali Bendre while being grilled by their lawyer. As for Saif Ali Khan, the witness testimony indicated his presence in the front seat of the vehicle. However, there was no evidence to prove that he instigated Salman to fire at the Blackbucks.

3. Salman Khan gets death threat from local gangster: A Punjab-based gangster, Lawrence Bishnoi, on Friday threatened to kill Bollywood actor Salman Khan.

The notorious gangster was brought to a Jodhpur local court on production warrant. While being taken into the police vehicle, Bishnoi said he would kill Khan in Jodhpur itself. On the reported threat to Khan by the gangster, Jail superintendent Vikram Singh said: We are thinking of keeping him with some other prisoners from tomorrow so that he is not alone considering the threat to him.”

Jodhpur police had arrested Bishnoi for his involvement in twin cases of firing. He was again arrested by the police for his involvement in the murder of Vasudev Israni, an electronic businessman from the city.

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