5 Years After 20 Years: Is The Salman Khan Verdict Justified?

Supporters of the actor argue that the punishment was too harsh

Salman Khan has been sentenced five years for his involvement in the 1998 black buck poaching case. In case you missed it, the verdict has come 20 YEARS since the incident. And while some people believe that justice has been served, supporters of the actor argue that the punishment was too harsh.


Before you mistake us for belonging to the legion of the bhai supporters, let us make it clear that we completely disprove of Salman’s misogyny, violent behaviour, trashy cinema and the PR machinery that tries to pass off his irresponsible actions with the hot-headed-but-kind-hearted narrative.

With that said, question marks also have to be raised over the isolation of the accused and the severity of the verdict. The Bishnoi community led the fight against the Salman and his Hum Saath Saath Hain co-stars for killing the blackbucks, a revered species in the region. They demand that the other actors involved in the case to also be punished by the law. All of Tabu, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and Saif Ali Khan were acquitted in the case Thursday, citing ‘lack of evidence.’

On the other hand, many in Bollywood believe that Salman has paid the price for being a star. It’s worth mentioning chief judicial magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri’s words while announcing the sentence and slapping a fine of Rs 10,000 on him.  “The accused is a popular actor whose deeds are followed by people. Despite this, the accused hunted two blackbucks,” he said.

Held guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, the maximum punishment in such a case is six years.Blackbuck is an endangered animal and included in Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. But despite the defendant’s lawyer stating previous acquittals from higher courts and multiple days of social service, only one year was waived off in the final verdict. 

Calling out the ‘disproportionate’ sentence, the likes of former IPS Sanjiv Bhatt, whistleblower in the 2002 Gujarat riots Supreme Court case, cry of a political conspiracy ahead of the Vidhan Sabha elections in Rajasthan later this year.

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But another opinion on Twitter might have summed up the situation. “Just consider the punishment pronounced as the one the same judiciary missed to award for the lives of those killed footpath dwellers and the witness cop who committed suicide (sic),” it said.


Which side are you on in this debate? Has justice been served or is the punishment a harsh one? Let us know in the comments section.

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