Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has pleaded “not guilty” in his Arms Act case in a Jodhpur court.
The Times of India reported that Khan left Mumbai in the early hours of Thursday morning, and reached Jodhpur by 9.15 am. After consulting with his lawyers, Khan headed to court to record his statement before the chief judicial magistrate.
This is the third time that Salman has appeared in the Jodhpur court for the same case.
Pleading his innocence, Salman Khan alleged that he has been framed by forest officials as he recorded his statement in a court here in an
Arms Act case against him in connection with poaching of protected black bucks at Kankani village in October, 1998.
"I am innocent and have been framed by the forest officials," Khan said before the chief judicial magistrate.
Referring to a statement signed by him in which a witness Uday Raghvan had stated that he had brought the arms from Mumbai following directions from Khan, the actor claimed that he had signed the statement under pressure from forest officials.
At the start, Khan told the court "I am Indian and that is my caste".
Salman also replied to general questions the court posed with respect to his name, his father's name, age, residential address and caste etc. However, on being asked about the allegations levelled against him by the prosecution, Salman pleaded "not guilty".
He said to the court: "Main nirdosh hoon. Mujhe jhootha fansaya gaya hai (I am not guilty and I have been falsely implicated)."
Salman's sister Alvira and his bodyguard Shera were also present during the court proceedings. He stayed in the court for less than half an hour.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit on March 3 asked Salman to appear before the court to record his statement as an accused in the court.
The Arms Act case against the actor is an offshoot of the blackbuck poaching incident which took place in October 1998 near Jodhpur, while he was shooting for Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain. Salman had been accused of poaching three chinkaras and a blackbuck near Kankani village.
Later, the forest department registered a case under the Arms Act against Khan on 15 October 1998, stating that the licences of the guns used he used for allegedly hunting the animals.
According to The Indian Express, however, Khan has argued that he had applied for the licences to be renewed.
The Arms Act was passed by the Indian parliament in 1959 to curb the use of illegal weapons in the country.
With inputs from IANS