UPDATE: Media has reported that the actor has been given 2 years of imprisonment, but there’s no confirmation yet.
UPDATE 2: The final quantum of punishment has not been announced yet. The final punishment will be announced after 1 PM.
Other actors who were with Khan at the time, Neelam, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre and Tabu, were acquitted on the benefit of doubt.
The prosecution had argued that all five should be convicted as they all had a common aim or intention of hunting protected animals.
The quantum of the punishment for Salman Khan was not announced, and is expected to be known in a few minutes.
The case was being heard at the court of chief judicial magistrate Dev Khatri in Jodhpur.
The offense carries a maximum of six years of jail.
The defense is now arguing that Khan is now a philanthropist and supports many children and poor people, and therefore a lower sentence should be given.
In case the jail term is less than 3 years, Salman Khan can get bail from the same court up to 1 month to appeal the conviction.
In case the sentence is higher than 3 years, he has to approach the higher courts, and will be taken to Jodhpur Central jail immediately.
The conviction could impact the release of ‘RACE 3’, slotted for Eid this year.
Interestingly, two years ago, Salman Khan managed to get bail on the same day after being convicted for five years of imprisonment in the notorious ‘hit and run’ case.
Khan has been convicted in multiple cases already, but has spent only a few days in jail as he has been granted bail regularly.
The case involves the alleged killing of a deer when Salman Khan and his co-stars – Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu – were shooting for “Hum Saath Saath Hain” in the forests near Jodhpur in 1998.
In 2007, Salman had spent a week in Jodhpur jail before the court granted him bail.
Beside the cases of poaching of endangered antelopes under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, a case under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act was filed against Khan for allegedly keeping and using firearms with an expired licence in the poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1–2, 1998.
On 17 February 2006, Khan was sentenced to one year in prison for hunting the Chinkara, an endangered species. The sentence was stayed by a higher court during appeal.
On 10 April 2006, he was handed a five-year jail term and remanded to Jodhpur jail until 13 April when he was granted bail. On 24 July 2012, Rajasthan High Court finalized charges against Salman Khan and his other colleagues in the endangered blackbuck killing case, paving way for the start of the trial.