Bollywood icon Salman Khan has been sentenced to five year jail term for his involvement in blackbuck shooting case by chief judicial magistrate De Kumar Khatri of Jodhpur. The case that began in 1998 when Salman Khan and a few of his colleagues that were in the region for an outdoor shoot were accused of shooting black bucks during a late night safari, has at last found closure. While giving out the sentence, judge Khatri noted that Salman is a popular actor whose actions are enumerated by his fans, so he should not have shot the two blackbucks.
Though Salman’s counsel argued that the actor had appeared personally for all hearings and had not been convicted in any case and had been under forest department’s custody for five days immediately following the shooting, the court refused to grant him the benefit of Probation of Offenders Act. A copy of the judgment shows that the sentence was given in consideration of gravity of the offence and case’s circumstances. The judge said that in view of the rising number of illegal hunting cases and the fact that the blackbuck killing was committed by a person who is looked upon as an icon by several others, granting Probation of Offender Act would not be justified.
The defense counsel also argued that Salman’s sentence would affect the livelihood of several families as he was a popular actor and several film and television programs had invested in him. But the prosecution overrode these arguments with the accusation that justice has been long denied and offence of such grievous nature should be punished. The prosecution team also mentioned previous case of hit-and-run at Mumbai and several other misdemeanor cases against Salman Khan to push for a strong sentence. The actor will spend the five years of his incarceration at Jodhpur Central Jail.