No Salman, co-stars at black buck hearing

Jaipur, Jan 25 : Salman Khan and his co-stars from Bollywood, did not attend the court hearing of the 18-year-old black buck killing case in a Jodhpur court today.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Dalpat Singh Salman and his co-stars Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Saif Ali Khan and one Dushyant Singh, had set Jan 25 as the date for recording their statements in the case relating to killing two black bucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the intervening night of Oct 1-2, 1998. The film stars had been shooting for Sooraj Barjatya’s movie, Hum Saath Saath Saath Hain.

Salman’s counsel Hastimal Saraswat and the counsel for the other stars submitted applications seeking court’s approval for their absence in court today. Sources say the police also had said they would be unable to provide fool-proof security to the stars as most of the force were posted for republic Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, the prosecution witnesses have already recorded their statements. The accused in this case Salman and his co-stars and Dushyant Singh were to record their statements.

The court is hear the case next on Jan 27.

Following protests by the Bishnoi community, Rajasthan forest department had lodged the complaint against these actors under the Wildlife Protection Act.

On Jan 18, Salman was acquitted in the illegal arms act case, where he was accused of using arms whose licences had expired, for lack of evidence.

If found guilty, Salman and all the other stars can face upto a jail term extending to seven years. Salman has got relief in three out of the four cases related to poaching endangered chinkaras and black bucks in villages near Jodhpur in 1998. This is the only case in Jodhpur, whose verdict is yet to come.

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