Bollywood actor Salman Khan has been convicted by a Jodhpur court in 1998 poaching case, in which Salman Khan was accused of killing two blackbucks. However, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu have been acquitted.
Here is a timeline of all the major incidents related to the Salman Khan’s Blackbuck poaching case:
1. On October 2, 1998, following protests by the local Bishnoi community in the area, two separate complaints were filed against the five leading Bollywood actors, including Salman Khan, for allegedly killing two blackbucks in Jodhpur’s Kankani Village, when he was shooting for the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ there. His co-actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam were also involved in the poaching case with him as they were present at the crime site with Salman Khan.
2. In total four cases were filed against Salman Khan, out of which two cases were filed for poaching Chinkaras, one case was filed for allegedly poaching of two blackbucks and one case was filed under the Arms Act.
3. On April 10, 2006, Salman Khan was convicted by the trial court in the case filed for poaching the Chinkaras and he was slapped with a fine and a sentence of five years in jail. He spent a week in Jodhpur jail, but was later granted bail. On August 31, 2006, the Rajasthan Court suspended the sentence, but the actor was ordered to not leave the country without formal permission.
4. Salman Khan was jailed twice in these cases – in April 2006 and in August 2007, but was granted bail. On July 25, 2016, the Rajasthan High Court acquitted Salman Khan of all charges in the poaching case as there was no evidence to prove that the animal was shot to death by the actor’s licensed gun.
5. On November 11, 2016, on an appeal by the Rajasthan government to the Supreme Court, challenging the acquittal of Salman Khan in the blackbuck poaching case, the actor was issued a notice by the Court as the top court agreed to fast-track the case.
6. In January 2017, the actor was acquitted on the ground of ‘insufficient evidence’ by the Jodhpur court in an Arms Act case for possessing an unlicensed .22 rifle and a .32 revolver and using them to poach the two blackbucks to death. He was further acquitted in the case of poaching of Chinkaras by the Rajasthan High Court. During his hearing, Salman Khan claimed that the animal died of ‘natural causes’ and alleged that he was being framed by the forest department officials.
7. In February 2017, Salman Khan’s lawyer failed to produce evidence. During the recordings of the Salman Khan’s statements, he pleaded innocence and expressed his interests in producing necessary evidence in his defence. But later his lawyer refused to produce evidence saying that there was no need to produce evidence as all of them have already been produced in front of the court to prove him innocent.
8. The trial was later scheduled to begin in March. On March 28, 2018, final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court in Jodhpur after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved his judgment.
9. On April 5, 2018, a Jodhpur Court delivered the verdict in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case convicting actor Salman Khan and acquitting his co-actors in the movie Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu and Neelam. They were present in the Jodhpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Court.