The Rajasthan High Court on Monday finalised November 27 as the hearing date in the plea challenging the acquittal of actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and others in the blackbuck poaching case. For the unversed, Saif, Sonali, Tabu and others had earlier been acquitted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Rural Court. However, the state government filed a plea on September 16 and challenged the acquittal of these Bollywood stars.
The case dates back to1998 when Salman Khan, Saif, Sonali, Tabu, Neelam Kothari and a local Dushyant Singh were accused of poaching black bucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998, during the shooting of Hum Saath Saath Hain. They were accused of killing two black bucks, hunting of which is prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act. While Salman Khan was convicted under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and awarded a five-year prison term, other actors were acquitted.
Meanwhile, Salman, who was to appear in the Jodhpur District and Sessions Court on September 27 this year, did not make an appearance. Salman's advocate Mahesh Bora appealed to the court explaining his busy schedule besides highlighting the recent threats issued on social media against the Bollywood star by SOPU group connected with gangster Lawrence Vishnoi as reasons for the failed appearance. The court accepted Salman's plea and then gave December 19 as the next date for the hearing.
(Source: ANI/with inputs from IANS)