Jodhpur: The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) in Jodhpur framed fresh charges on Saturday against Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan along with Sonali Bendre, Tabbu and Neelam for aiding Salman Khan in the blackbuck poaching case of 1998. If the charges are proven, the actors could face imprisonment of up to six years.
Meanwhile, Salman Khan, who was expect to reach Jodhpur on Saturday morning but was not able to appear before the court. Chief Judicial Magistrate Chandrakala Jain read out the charges under sections 9/51 and 9/52 of Wildlife Protection Act and 149 of IPC and posted the case for next hearing on April 27.
All the four actors, who are accused of killing two blackbucks on the intervening night of October 1 and 2 in Kankani village during shooting of the film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' in 1998, have reportedly denied the charges in the court. According to reports, the actors were booked under the Wildlife Act, while charges under the Arms Act and Sections 147 (punishment for rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC were dropped.
|Charges Against Actors|
Salman seeks exemption on medical grounds
However, film actor Salman Khan was not present at the time of hearing and so charges were not framed against him, reports said. Salman, who is in the US for the treatment of a rare neurological disorder, sought exemption from the court on medical grounds.
Notably, Salman did not appear before court in his last hearing on February 04 this year due to his pre-scheduled shooting plans following which the court had to adjourn the hearing till March 23. Salman's counsel Hastimal Saraswat said the actor could not appear before the court due to his pre-scheduled shooting plans.
The Rajasthan High Court had revised the charges against the actors in December 2012, charging Salman Khan with section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act and others including a local accused Dushyant Singh with section 51/52 of Wildlife Protection Act and section 149 of IPC. Under the Wildlife Protection Act, the blackbuck is a protected animal and hunting or poaching of the same is a punishable offence under the Indian law.