Bollywood actor Salman Khan acquitted in blackbuck, blue bull poaching cases

Bollywood actor Salman Khan and seven others had been accused of killing a blackbuck and chinkara in two separate incidents. Photograph:( Getty )

ANI Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India Jul 25, 2016, 06.14 AM (IST)
In a massive relief for Bollywood star Salman Khan, the High Court of Rajasthan, a western state in India, on Monday acquitted him in both the 1998 blue bull (Nilgai) and blackbuck poaching cases.

Khan was reportedly not present in court when the verdict was announced.

According to reports, there were two possible outcomes ahead of the hearing today. In the first, Khan could have walked free and the sentence could have been lowered from five years, and the second one was that if Salman was convicted, a warrant would have been issued and he could have been sent to jail.

Khan had earlier appealed before the High Court, challenging the lower court's verdict that had handed him one and five years' imprisonment in the two separate cases of poaching. Khan and seven others are accused of killing a blackbuck and blue bull, common referred to as nilgai or chinkara in India, in two separate incidents.

One of the animals was killed at Bhawad on the outskirts of Jodhpur on September 26, 1998, and the other at Ghoda Farms on September 28, 1998. At that time, they were shooting for a movie.