A Jodhpur court on Thursday convicted Salman Khan. His 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' co-stars, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam, however, were acquitted in the 1998 blackbuck killing case. Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri pronounced the verdict in the case that had been going on for 20 years. Arguments on the punishment are underway.
Khan's lawyers are currently pleading for a minimum sentence, and also for the actor to get bail today. If rejected, the actor may have to spend prison time till Monday, when the he can re-apply for bail. Khan at present faces up to 6 years in prison. The argument is still underway in the court, and the quantum of punishment for the actor will be announced soon. The judge said that Salman Khan is a habitual offender, hence he has been convicted, while the others have been given benefit of doubt.
Salman was facing charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The other actors had been charged under Section 51 read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code. It was a long legal battle between the Bishnoi community, who are committed towards protecting the species, and the Bollywood stars.
The incident happened when the stars were shooting for Sooraj Barjatya's family drama 'Hum Saath Saath Hain.'