Jaipur, March 23 (IANS) A court in Jodhpur Saturday read out charges against four Bollywood stars – Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Saif Ali Khan – in the 14-year-old case of blackbuck poaching while shooting for a film. Salman Khan is also charged in the case but was not present at the hearing.
The poaching allegedly occurred during the shooting of Rajshri Productions “Hum Saath Saath Hain” in 1998.
Chief Judicial Magistrate C.K. Jain read out charges one by one against all of the film starts, except Salman Khan, also an accused, who had sought exemption from the court on the ground that he had to be out of the country for medical treatment.
“Salman Khan was not present in the court today (Saturday) as he in not in the country and has gone overseas for treatment,” said his counsel Hastimal Saraswat.
The charges have been framed under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 relating to hunting and inciting to poach blackbucks.
If found guilty, the actors face imprisonment of up to six years.
These actors, however, denied all the charges.
The court has fixed April 27 as next date of hearing.
The case was filed against these actors for poaching of blackbucks in 1998 in Kankni village near Jodhpur.
The blackbuck is a protected animal under the Wildlife Protection Act.