Twenty years since the crime, Salman Khan has finally been found guilty in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case by a Jodhpur court and sentenced to a five-year jail term. The other actors charged in the event; Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, and Neelam Kothari, were all found not guilty. He has been sentenced to five years in prison
Salman Khan was accused of killing two blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur in October 1998 during the shooting of Hum Saath Saath Hain. He has been charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, as the blackbuck is an endangered species. The actor faced a prison term of up to six years in jail.
The actor has denied the charges in the past, and his defense continues to proclaim his innocence. The story Salman has claimed is that the group came across a herd of deer while returning from shooting. A fawn was stuck in a bush, and he helped him out and sent him on his way. The defense states that the deer died later of natural causes.
Salman Khan has claimed that he was not armed, and that he only had an air gun on him, which doesn’t have fatal capabilities. There were 28 witnesses in the case, including villagers who came running out of their huts upon hearing gunshots.
His lawyers have been unsuccessful in a bid for a reduced sentence. A sentence under three years would make him available for bail.