For actor Salman Khan, the chickens have come to roost after full two decades with the trial court in Jodhpur sentencing him to 5 years in jail for the 1998 blackbuck poaching case. There are already loud murmurs that his incarceration will spell doom for at least three Bollywood films worth over Rs 300 crore, as well as throw a huge spanner in the shooting of TV serial Big Boss which he has been hosting. Khan is likely to seek bail from Rajasthan High Court, and there is much speculation whether he will get relief or at least sufficient time to complete all pending work. In 2015, Khan was acquitted of all charges in a hit-and-run case by Bombay High Court, the 2002 case which involved the death of one person and injuries to four others run over by the actor’s Toyota Land Cruiser car while they were sleeping on a pavement. Miraculously, as the files related to the case were charred in a blaze at Maharashtra Mantralaya, so the State government conveniently had “no information” on Khan! But the Bishnoi environmental group proved to be made of different mettle, doggedly pursuing the case against Khan to its logical end for shooting down two blackbucks, a near-endangered animal protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, while on a jaunt with other actors during location shooting. There are now calls that Khan should get “justice” in a higher court, which explains the culture of impunity among the high and mighty in the country. This has to end, just as it earlier did for Sanjay Dutt.
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