While sentencing Salman Khan to five years in jail, the judge pointed out the fan following of the superstar, saying he is a "popular actor whose deeds are followed by people".
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri sentenced the Bollywood superstar to five years in prison for killing two blackbucks, capping a 20-year case that began with a late night safari outside this tourist city on the sidelines of a film shoot in 1998.
"The accused is a popular actor whose deeds are followed by people. Despite this, the accused hunted two blackbucks," Khatri said in his written judgment.
The defence had argued that Salman has not been convicted in any case earlier and that he has always appeared before the court on the given date.
The defence counsel also said Salman was in the custody of the forest department for five days and he should be given the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act.
But the court refused to give Salman the benefit citing the circumstances of the case and gravity of the offence, according to a copy of the judgement.
"...considering the rising number of cases of illegal hunting of wildlife animals, looking at the circumstances of the case and gravity of the offence, giving the benefit of Probation of Offender Act does not appear justified," the judge said.
The defence also said the accused is an actor and his sentencing will affect the livelihood of several families. Opposing this, the prosecution said the actor has committed an offence of serious nature.
The prosecution also mentioned the hit-and-run case against him in Mumbai and other cases while requesting maximum punishment. —PTI