Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's bail hearing in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case which was scheduled for Monday has been adjourned to July 17.
District and Session Judge Chandra Kumar Songara ordered the arguments to begin, but Salman's lawyer Mahesh Bora wanted some time.
Heeding his request, Songara adjourned the hearing till July 17. Salman was seen leaving the Jodhpur trial court soon after.
The actor was convicted and handed a five-year imprisonment on April 5 by Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri for killing two blackbucks 19 years ago. He spent two nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail, before he was granted bail by the sessions court on April 7.
Both Khatri and District and Session Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi, who gave him bail, have since been transferred.
Salman's Bollywood colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre were acquitted by the trial court. Another accused Dushyant Singh, an area resident, was also acquitted.
Salman was accused of shooting and killing blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur on October 1, 1998, during the shooting of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.
The accused were charged with hunting and killing two blackbucks, which are protected animals under the Wildlife Protection Act. The deer were allegedly poached near a village of Bishnois, a community which is known for revering and protecting the blackbuck.
The villagers had come out of their homes hearing the gunshots on that night in 1998, and allegedly saw the actors fleeing in a jeep, and the deer carcass on the ground.
Salman Khan was booked under section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act and the other actors also faced charges under the same section. However, read with section 149 of the IPC, they were also charged with unlawful assembly.
Salman Khan was also slapped with four cases of poaching and one charge under the Arms Act in Jodhpur in September-October 1998. His lawyers, however, claimed that there was no forensic evidence to show that the deer were hunted with guns and died.
With IANS inputs