(MENAFN- Gulf Times) A court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan will deliver its verdict today in the 1998 black buck poaching case, in which Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam are accused.
All the accused arrived in Jodhpur yesterday ahead of the court hearing.
Salman Khan, 52, boarded a chartered plane from the Mumbai, after landing from Abu Dhabi, where he was shooting for Race 3, people close to the actor said.
The stars were accused of poaching black bucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998, during the shooting of Hum Saath Saath Hain movie.
They were accused of killing two black bucks, an endangered species protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act. The punishment for hunting black buck can be up to six years in jail.
The final arguments in the case were completed in a Jodhpur rural court on March 28. Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved the judgment which will be delivered today.
'All of them were in a Gypsy car that night, with Salman Khan in the driving seat. He, on spotting a herd of black bucks, shot at and killed two of them, Public Prosecutor Bhawani Singh Bhati had said.
'But on being spotted and chased, they fled leaving the dead animals there, he said, adding that there was adequate evidence against them.
Refuting the allegations, Salman Khan's lawyer H M Saraswat said there were several loopholes in the prosecution's story and it had failed to prove its case beyond any doubt.
'The prosecution has failed to prove the allegations. It engaged in tampering and fabricating evidence and documents as well as roping in fake witnesses to prove its case, he said.
'It even failed to prove that the black bucks were killed by gunshots. Hence, such an investigation cannot be trusted, Saraswat said.
The case also involved two others, Dushyant Singh, who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place, and Dinesh Gawre, said to be Salman Khan's assistant.
'Gawre never appeared in court and was made to disappear by the main accused. Had he been around, there could have been more information available in the case, Bhati claimed.
Meanwhile, a video clipping of Saif Ali Khan getting annoyed over media questions and threatening his driver has since gone viral on social media.
Khan allegedly told the driver: 'Close windowpane, put car in reverse or else you will get slapped.
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