The mega-star, 52, is convicted of poaching rare antelope back in 1998, a verdict that could derail the career of one of the country’s most popular actors, reports the Mirror.
Khan – an actor, singer, and TV presenter – killed the protected species in the state of Rajasthan whilst shooting a movie, and was found guilty of violating the country’s wildlife law. The offence carries between one and six years in prison, according to local reports but the judges settled for five.
Mahipal Bishnoi, a lawyer who fought against Khan, said the court in Jodhpur heard arguments on the appropriate sentence for the actor. They had prayed for probation emphasising on the minimum sentence.
Thursday’s ruling is not Khan’s first brush with the law. In 2015, the Bombay High Court overturned his conviction in a hit-and-run case in which he was accused of running over a group of people sleeping on a city sidewalk, killing one and injuring four.
Khan has churned out a series of blockbuster hits in the last few years and is one of the country’s most bankable box office stars. Some of his releases in 2017 were big-ticket films that pulled in billions of rupees. Fellow actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam Kothari were all acquitted at the hearing on Thursday.