After Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan to face court verdict

With all the hype around the verdict given in the case of Sanjay Dutt, it is the turn of Salman Khan to hear the final verdict on his case.

During the shooting of ‘Hum Saath Saath Hai’, back in 1998, in Rajasthan, he was accused of killing two Black Bucks. He along with his 4 other co-stars, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam, were accused of killing the two Black bucks. The court will give out a ruling for all the five actors involved.

Salman Khan has been charged under the Wildlife Protection Act for the killing of the blackbuck, whereas the charges against the possession of arms have been dropped. The other four actors, namely, Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali Bendre, have been charged for hunting and for inciting Salman Khan to hunt, as well as unlawful assembly.

All the accused will be appearing in front of the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate to hear out the fresh charges on them. Salman Khan has apparently excused himself on medical grounds. The new date set for this hearing is April 27, and if found guilty, the stars could face up to 6 years in jail. 1 year for the poaching of the two Chinkaras and 5 years for the poaching of the Black Buck. It is a protected animal facing extinction.

The stars will have to show up in case of identification by the witnesses. The main witness in this case, the driver of the jeep that they were in, has been missing for several years now.

Appeals by Salman Khan and the State Government are yet pending in the High Court, which will now read out the charges only under the Wildlife Protection Act. They had filed for the review petition in the Sessions court, after which Salman Khan was released from the charges of the Section 27 of Arms Act. The remaining four stand to be acquitted under the Section 149 of the IPC.

A local accused, Dushyant Singh, will also be facing charges under the Wildlife Protection Act. It has been 14 long years since the actors were faced with these charges, and yet there has been no verdict on this case. It can only be hoped for that the verdict is not as stringent as in the case of Sanjay Dutt. Given that the Jodhpur Court began hearing on this case again, the final verdict is not too far behind.