Blackbuck poaching case: Rajasthan HC issues fresh notices to Saif, Sonali, Neelam, Tabu
Notice was also issued to Dushyant Singh who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place
The Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court on Monday issued fresh notices to actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam Kothari and Tabu in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
A single judge bench of Justice Manoj Garg issued the notices to the actors following an appeal by the Rajasthan government against their acquittal by a Chief Judicial Magistrate's court on April 5 last year.
Notice was also issued to Dushyant Singh who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place.
Justice Garg directed that the case be listed for hearing after eight weeks.
The high court had on March 11 issued notices to the five respondents on the state government's appeal challenging their acquittal in the case.
Bollywood star Salman Khan was, however, convicted under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act by the CJM's court and was awarded a five-year prison term along with a fine of Rs 10,000 after being found guilty of killing two blackbucks in Jodhpur during the shooting of his 1998 blockbuster 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'. Salman was accused of shooting and killing blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on October 1, 1998.
The appeal of Salman Khan, who is on bail, is pending before the high court.
The trial court had acquitted his co-stars -- Saif, Sonali, Neelam and Tabu, besides Dushyant Singh due to lack of evidence.
On another note, the population of the endangered blackbuck in Odisha's Ganjam district has increased by 276 in the last three years, a Forest Department official said today. The population of the rare species locally called Krushnasara murga or bali harina, is 4,082 as against 3,806 in 2015. In 2011 the number of blackbucks in the district was 2,194.
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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies
Salman Khan convicted in Blackbuck poaching case: A timeline