Salman Khan's statement in court on Blackbuck case: 'Animal died of natural causes'
Actors Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendra, Neelam and Tabu are set to record their statements in the 1998 Blackbuck poaching case with the chief judicial magistrate court in Jodhpur on Friday.
Times of India reports that Salman's official statement is that the blackbuck died of natural causes. "Only the first forensic report of Dr Nepalia saying that the animal died of "natural causes" was true and the rest of the evidence is false," he reportedly said. The actor has pleaded innocent in this case. The next date of hearing has been announced at February 15.
Salman was asked close to 65 questions by the Jodhpur magistrate and he said "galat" to almost all of them, including whether his jeep was found with bloodstains and hair of the blackbuck, and if he was shooting at night, to which he replied false.
The court completed recording the statement of Saif Ali Khan, too.
On 13 January, the Jodhpur court has ordered the five accused in the case to appear before it on 25 January to record their statements, which then got postponed to 27 January. According to Hindustan Times, Salman's lawyer Hastimal Sarswat said that the prosecution has examined 28 witnesses out of a total 51, and the defence will be given a chance to record their statements soon after.
All five actors arrived on Jodhpur on Thursday, reports NDTV. They are accused of poaching two blackbucks, which is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act, during the shooting for Hum Saath Saath Hai in 1998. Salman Khan was individually undergoing a trail for possession of illegal firearms for the shooting of the animals.
Blackbuck Poaching Case: Salman Khan arrives in Jodhpur, will appear before Court tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/4Fev3ZV8Yi
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 26, 2017
On 17 January, Salman Khan was acquitted in the Arms Act case, and the Rajasthan High Court has also acquitted the actor in two other related cases.
The case dates back to the making of Hum Saath Saath Hai in 1998 when all five actors allegedly went on a shooting expedition with a certain Dushyant Singh in Kankani village. This was followed by protests from the Bishnoi community, after which a case was filed against all the actors.
Updated Date: Jan 27, 2017 15:22 PM