Salman Khan acquitted in black buck case: Knife used not his, says lawyer

FP Staff

July 25, 2016 12:10:40 IST

Salman Khan has been acquitted in the 1998 black buck and chinkara poaching cases, on Monday 25 July.

Justice Nirmaljeet Kaur of Jodhpur High Court pronounced the verdict acquitting Salman Khan in both poaching cases. Khan had been accused of killing a blackbuck and a chinkara in two seperate incidents, in Bhawad near Jodhpur, and in Ghoda farms, Rajasthan.

Another case had been registered in Jodhpur by the forest department of Rajasthan, alleging that the arms used by Salman in the poaching incident were expired and being used illegally.

As per the verdict, the court held that the pellets recovered from the Chinkaras were not fired from Khan's licensed gun. The driver of the jeep that was used by Khan and his co- stars on their alleged hunting  mission has been missing, weakening the prosecution's case against the movie star.

Salman Khan. AFP

Salman's lawyer, H M Saraswat spoke to Firspost post the verdict. "The honourable High Court has rejected both jail terms of one year and five years respectively, on both the poaching cases. We have proved in court that documents submitted by the forest departments officials accusing Salman were forged. Additionally, the hair samples and weapon (knife) found in the gypsy does not match the weapon in Salman Khan's room."

Salman Khan had appeared in the court for the same purpose on April 29 last year, for recording his statements. He pleaded innocence but before the court could consider his plea, the defence had moved an application seeking re-examination of 5 prosecution witnesses of the case. For these two cases, Salman's sister Alvira Khan was present for the hearing.

The trial court (CJM) had earlier convicted him in both the cases sentencing him to one year and 5 year imprisonment on 17 February, 2006 and 10, April 2006 respectively.
While arguing the case in the Rajasthan HC in Jodhpur on Monday, the defense counsel Mahesh Bora said that Khan has been falsely frame in these cases, based on the statements of the key witness Harish Dulani, who was the driver of the gypsy that was used allegedly in the cases.

Bora argued that Dulani was never available to them for cross examination and hence his statements could not be relied upon in conviction of Khan. He also argued that both of these cases have been built on circumstantial evidences and there was no eye-witness or any material evidence against Khan.

Besides this, the major observation by the court was that it did not find the pellets recovered from the vehicle matching with those, recovered from the possession of Khan.
Defence also strongly argued that these pellets had been planted since they were not found in the vehicle during forest department’s inspection and were found there surprisingly by the police later.
Similarly, the defence also argued that Khan was not in possession of weapons allegedly used in poaching and were brought to Jodhpur from Mumbai only on demand of the forest department. Also, it was argued that the pellets produced belonged to air gun, which has no capacity at all to kill an animal.

At that time of the alleged incidents Khan was shooting for the film Hum Sath Sath Hain in Jodhpur.

Updated Date: Jul 25, 2016 12:44 PM