Salman Khan's conviction in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case by a Jodhpur court on Thursday has saddened film fraternity members like Jaya Bachchan, Subhash Ghai and Alok Nath, who hope he will get justice in a higher court.
Khan (pictured top) had been sentenced to prison terms of between one and five years in related cases before being acquitted by appeals courts for lack of evidence. "Basically the eyewitness is not reliable. the trial court has convicted Salman on the basis of basically just one eyewitness", Mahesh Bora, a lawyer for Salman, told reporters in Jodhpur. The actor will have to spend another day in custody, till the Jodhpur sessions court announces its decision at 10.30am tomorrow.
Salman's body language inside police station along with other constables clearly speaks volumes about the actor. The actress spent about an hour with him in the jail.
Khan, among the most recognizable Bollywood film stars and one of the world's highest-paid actors, was first arrested in 1998 after he was accused of illegally hunting two blackbucks while filming in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Loveratri is also an in-house family production wherein Salman will launch his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma.
Salman, 52, was found guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 for killing two blackbucks, an endangered species, hunting of which is prohibited by law. Both of Salman's sisters were also present in the court.
Media's extraordinary attention to Salman's blackbuck poaching case has got mixed reactions.
Khan, 52, has starred in more than 90 Hindi-language films, but has also had a reputation as a Bollywood bad boy, known for his run-ins with the law - including a fatal vehicle accident - and his troubled relationships with women.
Meanwhile, Bollywood is shuddering at the prospect of the actor spending five years in prison as the superstar has projects worth over Rs 600 crore under his belt.