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Blackbuck verdict: Why the court turned down Salman Khan's plea for leniency

The prosecution told the court that Khan had killed the blackbucks 'for fun', but the court also had other considerations in ruling against the film star.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 06, 2018, 11.42 AM IST
Blackbuck verdict: Why the court turned down Salman Khan's plea for leniency

Salman Khan shot dead two endangered Black Bucks knowing well that he is a major film star and common people could emulate his act, the Jodhpur court has ruled in its judgement sending the filmstar behind bars with a 5-year sentence.

The court said that though Salman Khan has been acquitted in all other cases by the High Court, the rising incidents of hunting of endangered animals makes it imperative that strict punishment be given given the evidences and circumstances of the said case and no leniency be shown to him.

The prosecution told the court that Khan had killed the black bucks "for fun". Pleading for leniency, Khan had told the court that he has been suffering the case for 20 long years and that if he was sent to jail, it could affect the livelihood of many families associated with the film industry since he is a major film star. The prosecution however argued that Khan had been convicted in two earlier cases too by lower court though he was acquitted later in the High Court but appeals had been filed against these acquittals in the Supreme Court where they were pending. "He faced another case of a hit-and-run in Mumbai," the prosecution told the court.

The court judgement says the prosecution was "able to prove beyond doubt" that Khan had shot dead the two black bucks between 1 am and 2 am on October 2, 1998 but was not able to prove that Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam or Sonali Bendre were present at the spot or instructed Salman to fire at the black bucks.

The court judgement says that though one witness said Saif Ali Khan was seated on front seat of a gypsy , the witness did not say that Saif Ali Khan had asked Salman to fire at the black bucks after spotting them. The court said the presence of the others at the spot was not conclusively proved and anyways common intention on their part to kill the black bucks did not stand proved. Hence, the others were given benefit of doubt.

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