Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre,Tabu and Neelam returned to Mumbai on Thursday evening after being acquitted by a Jodhpur court in the blackbuck poaching case. The actors returned to Mumbai on Thursday evening itself after the verdict was announced in the afternoon.
While Salman Khan was awarded five years in jail, the others walked free. Salman will be spending the night in a Jodhpur jail. Saif, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali and a local, Dushyant Singh, were given the “benefit of doubt”, a prosecution lawyer said.
Salman shot and killed two blackbucks, from the antelope family, in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of October 1, 1998 during the shooting of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain. Blackbuck is an endangered animal and included in the schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act-1972.
All the actors were in a Gypsy that night with Salman in the driving seat. He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, the lawyer said.
All the accused, some of them accompanied by their family members, were in the courtroom when the verdict was read out.