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ACTOR Salman Khan will have to go to jail after the Jodhpur sessions court upheld the five-year jail term and a fine of Rs 25,000 on him in the chinkara poaching case, turning down the actor’s appeal against his sentencing last year. An arrest warrant would be issued to Salman Khan by the lower court. The actor, however, failed to appear for the hearing, saying he missed the flight to Jodhpur from Hyderabad where he is currently shooting for a Telegu film.

Salman was accused of poaching a chinkara, an endangered species under the Wildlife Act, on the outskirts of Jodhpur near Mathania on the night of September 27, 1998, while shooting for his film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’. “The court has turned down Salman Khan’s appeal and has upheld the earlier order. A revision can be filed, and it’s his right to exercise all options available to him,” said Salman’s lawyer Dipesh Mehta.

The lawyers of Salman are now gearing up to appeal in a higher court against the verdict. “Salman has not got more options left. He will have to go to jail at least for sometime. He can appeal in the high court only after surrendering before the court. If he surrenders, he will have to spend at least two days in jail before the bail petition is moved. Even if Salman’s lawyer files an appeal before the high court asking for few days’ time to surrender, it will still consume some time, and then Rakhi holiday on August 28 will further delay the process. If the actor fails to surrender in a given time period then non-bailable warrants would be issued against him,” senior advocate in the Rajasthan High Court Abhinav Sharma said.

Salman is also undergoing two more trials in the Jodhpur lower court, which include the black buck poaching case where besides Salman, Saif Ali Khan and actresses Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre are also accused of hunting in the jungles near Kankani village in Jodhpur. In another case, he has been accused under the Arms Act for using illegal weapon in his hunting expedition as his licence had expired.

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