Bollywood star Salman Khan and three other actors were today summoned by a local court to appear before it on February 4 for charge-framing in the Black Buck poaching case, 14 years after the incident.
The lower court had framed Salman Khan under relevant sections of the Wildlife Act, the Arms Act and the IPC while the others, including actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabbu, Sonali Bendre, Nilam, Dushyant Singh and Dinesh Gawre, were framed under the Wildlife act and the IPC, defence counsel Hastimal Saraswat said.
The accused had then filed a revision petition in the session court which discharged Salman Khan from Section 27 (illegal possession of arms) of the Arms Act and 148 (rioting with deadly weapons) of IPC whereas the others were discharged of section 51 (causing harm to wildlife) of Wildlife Act and both under 147 (punishment for rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly of persons) of IPC.
Saraswat said the state government then filed a revision petition in the Rajasthan High Court which upheld the decision of the session court in Salman's case whereas added section 149 of IPC against the others, which the session court had dropped.
Two endangered Black Bucks were allegedly poached on the intervening night of 1-2 October, 1998, at Kankani village near Jodhpur during the shooting of the Bollywood movie "Hum Saath Saath Hain".
The trial will now commence in the lower court with the revised charges for which the court has summoned all the accused to hear the charges on February 4.
All the accused had last appeared in the lower court on June, 19, 2006 but revision petitions first by the defence and then by the state government had held up the trial.
Salman Khan was convicted and sentenced to 1-year and 5- year prison terms in separate cases of poaching of two Chinkaras at Bhawad and one Black Buck at Ghoda Farm (Mathania) on the intervening night of 26-27 September, 1998 and 28-29 September, 1998 respectively.
Appeals against these sentences, both by Salman Khan and the state government, are pending in the High Court since long.