The Jodhpur High Court on Monday issued notices to actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam Kothari and Tabu after the Rajasthan government challenged their acquittal in the Blackbuck poaching case by a local court.
Dushyant Singh, who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place, was also issued a notice.
While Saif, Sonali, Neelam, Tabu and Dushyant were acquitted in the case on April 5 last year, Salman Khan was convicted under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and was awarded a five-year prison term along with a fine of Rs 10,000.
However, after spending two nights in Jodhpur Central Jail, he was granted bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the same amount. His appeal against the sentence will be heard on April 3. The government’s appeal against acquitting Salman for the possession of illegal arms too will be heard on that day.
The actors were accused of killing two blackbucks in September 1998 in Kankani village, Jodhpur, during the shooting of “Hum Saath Saath Hain”. Hunting of black bucks, a rare species, is prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act.
A complaint was registered by the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan on October 2 that year against the actors.