Bollywood mega star Salman Khan, 50, has been acquitted today in two poaching cases, with the Rajasthan High Court over-turning earlier verdicts that sentenced him to jail time.
Khan, 50, has been accused of shooting protected antelopes or chinkara in separate incidents two decades ago while filming a movie in the desert state.
The High Court today said there was no evidence to prove that the animals that were found dead were shot by Khan’s licensed gun.
“The honourable high court has not agreed to the prosecution evidence or its documents in both the cases. Definitely, it’s a good thing that an innocent man has received justice,” the actor’s lawyer Hastimal Saraswat said.
The star who plays the lead role in the recent blockbuster Sultan was not present for the ruling.
The original case was filed by the local Bishnoi community, who revere and worship the black bucks.
The driver of the jeep that was used by Salman Khan and his co-stars for their alleged hunt has been missing, weakening the prosecution’s case against the movie star, who was not required to attend the court session.
A third case about Salman Khan’s alleged poaching of endangered blackbuck is yet to be decided in Rajasthan.
The state government must decide now whether to appeal to the Supreme Court to over-rule today’s decision.
In 2006, Khan was sentenced to five years in jail for killing the chinkaras. He then spent a week in jail in Jodhpur before being granted bail.
The actor is currently in a huge face-off with the National Women’s Commission for stating that his training for his role as a wrestler in his blockbuster new film, “Sultan”, left him feeling “like a raped woman.”
He has not apologised for the comment, as demanded by the women’s rights body. Some comments made by some of his colleagues have angered him. Some have decided to stay quiet.
Last year, the Mumbai High Court overturned the actor’s conviction in a 13-year-old case in which he is accused of running over a homeless man while driving drunk in Mumbai. He has denied he was driving. – CINEWS