New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan on Thursday expressed disappointment with the Jodhpur court verdict against actor Salman Khan in a 19-years-old Blackbuck poaching case, saying that the actor should have been given relief for his humanitarian work.
“I feel bad. He should be given relief. He has done a lot of humanitarian work,” Bachchan said.
Earlier in the day, a Jodhpur court convicted Salman for five years in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case. A penalty of Rs 10,000 has also been levied on him.
Other accused in the case – Tabu, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam – were acquitted, while the ‘Sultan’ actor was held in the court.
In October 1998, total three cases in connection with poaching and one under the Arms Act were registered against Salman. The 52-year-old actor allegedly shot two blackbucks in Bhagoda ki Dhani in Kankani village near Jodhpur during the shooting of ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’.
Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam were also present in the vehicle Salman allegedly used for hunting the endangered species protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act.
Salman 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.
On July 25, 2016, the Rajasthan High Court acquitted Salman of all charges in the blackbuck poaching case and said there was no evidence to prove that the endangered animals were shot by the actor’s licensed gun.
The Supreme Court on November 11, 2016, issued a notice to Salman on an appeal by the Rajasthan government challenging his acquittal in blackbuck poaching case. The apex court had agreed to fast-track the case.
In January 2017, Salman Khan was acquitted by a Jodhpur court in the Arms Act case.