Salman Khan to be jailed for poaching

Salman Khan to be jailed for poaching

Jodhpur: An Indian court rejected an appeal by Bollywood star Salman Khan against a five-year prison sentence for a 1998 poaching case on Friday, a verdict that will send the actor to jail.

Khan had filed an appeal against a 2006 court ruling which had sentenced him to jail for poaching a chinkara -- an endangered species of gazelle that is protected under wildlife laws -- while shooting a film in Rajasthan state.

That court also fined him Rs25,000 ($600). Hunting such animals carries a maximum sentence of seven years.

He was also convicted in 2006 for killing protected black buck antelopes in the western desert state of Rajasthan and given a one-year jail sentence.

He was granted bail while he appeals that conviction.

Khan, a muscular hero of Bollywood’s musical melodramas, was not present in court in the city of Jodhpur when the verdict was announced.

“His hotel room was booked but he couldn’t get a flight and was therefore held back," S.R. Bajwa, one of Khan’s lawyers, told the Times Now news channel.

It was not immediately known when he would be taken into custody.

“Salman’s Khan’s advocate will now have to decide when he surrenders," said Mahipal Bishnoi, a prosecution lawyer, speaking on a local news channel. “I think he might surrender on Monday."

Bishnoi said an arrest warrant would be issued.

Khan is also facing charges of killing a person sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai while driving drunk in 2002. He has denied being at the wheel.