Salman Khan acquitted in Arms Act case: Jodhpur court gives him benefit of doubt

Swetha Ramakrishnan

Jan,18 2017 09:48:13 IST

Salman Khan acquitted in Arms Act case: Jodhpur court gives him benefit of doubt

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Quick recap: 

    After 18 years of legal battle in the alleged black buck and chinkara poaching cases, a local court on Wednesday acquitted actor Salman Khan in the Arms Act case lodged in October 1988 giving him the benefit of doubt. 

    Chief Judicial Magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit announced the judgment within minutes of the actor’s arrival in the court.

    A case was registered against Khan under the Arms Act in October 1988 for allegedly possessing arms without a valid licence during alleged poaching of black bucks at Kankani village near Jodhpur. The case was filed by the forest department.
     

  • This is the third acquittal by the Jodhpur Court for Salman Khan, in a four part Blackbuck and Chinkara poaching case. Lack of evidence has been a consistent theme. 

  • Salman's acquittal happened after a 10 minute appearance, due to not enough evidence against illegal arms possession. This is followed by an acquittal in the Black buck and Chinkara case, in July 2016. 

  • Twitter goes into a frenzy with Salman Khan's acquittal.

  • Jodhpur fans of Salman Khan cheer loudly as her gets acquitted, reports India Today

  • CNN News 18 reports that the prosecution has not decided whether it will appeal the Jodhpur Court's decision. 

  • Salman Khan given benefit of doubt, walks free in Arms Act case.

  • Salman Khan acquitted in Jodhpur Arms Act case. 

  • Salman fans are flooding Twitter with their support

  • In case of conviction, will Salman get bail?

    According to the law, reports News 18, Section 2(A) of CRPC defines bailable offences as one that has been shown in the first schedule as bailable or which is made bailable by any other law for the time being in force.

    An offence in order to be bailable would have to be one which is punishable with imprisonment for less than three years or with fine only.

  • Jodhpur Court gives Salman Khan 30 minutes to appear; Salman is currently discussing the case and its repercussions with his lawyers. 

  • According to News 18, here's what both sides said:

    Defence: No arms were found when the actor’s hotel room was raided.
    Prosecution: The actor sent away the weapons to Mumbai after the poaching incidents came to light.

    Prosecution: Licenses of the weapons used by Salman Khan had expired and thereby its use was illegal.
    Defence: Had applied for a renewal of licence for the weapons soon after it expired and hence was not using them illegally.

  •  While there is still some time for Chief judicial magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit to give his verdict, News 18 gives us a quick lowdown on the defence and prosecution statements in the case.

  • Court has ordered to present Salman Khan in 30 minutes or the case will be moved to afternoon, reports News 18 Hindi.

  • Twitter waits in anticipation for the verdict. 

  • Local police has kept the media and fellow lawyers away from the court proceedings. 

  • News 18 Hindi reports that Salman has reached Jodhpur Court

  • Hoards of fans gather around Jodhpur court

  • Translation: Salman has left his hotel in Jodhpur for the court. 

  • Alvira has arrived at the court with some lawyers, while Salman is yet to reach. Verdict to be announced soon.

  • Of the four cases against him, Khan has already been acquitted in two cases of poaching by the high court while the third case of poaching is in its final stage. Maximum sentence in Section 3/25 is 3 years while Section 3/27 has 7 years as the maximum sentence, reports PTI.

  • The case had reached the stage of judgement earlier on February 25, 2014 but sudden appearance of an undecided prosecution application before the trial court, moved by the then prosecution counsel in 2006 put off the verdict for two flat years, reports PTI.

  • PTI reports, Salman's counsel H M Saraswat had said on the March 10 hearing, “We had argued in the court that there was no evidence that Khan was carrying fire arms either during his stay here or during alleged poaching. What he was found in possession with, were actually the air guns.”

A court in Jodhpur  has pronounced its verdict in the case under Arms Act against actor Salman Khan. The actor has been acquitted in the case.

This is one of the four cases against the actor. While the Rajasthan High Court has acquitted him in two cases of poaching of chinkara, trial in the third case of alleged poaching of two blackbucks is on.

File photo of Salman Khan. PTI

File photo of Salman Khan. PTI

Khan and his sister Alveera arrived in Jodhpur on Tuesday evening. He appeared in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Besides the cases of poaching of endangered antelopes under Wildlife (Protection) Act, a case under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act was filed against Khan for allegedly keeping and using the fire arms with expired licence in the poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998.

Arguments by both the sides in this case were completed on January 9, after which magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit reserved the judgement for January 18 directing the actor to be present in the court.

Before this, Khan had appeared in the court on March 10 last year for recording of his statements, wherein he had pleaded innocence and had stated that he had been framed in the case by the forest department.

His counsel H M Saraswat said, "We had argued in the court that there was no evidence that Khan was carrying fire arms either during his stay here or during alleged poaching. What he was found in possession with, were actually the air guns."

The defence also raised questions on the prosecution permission arguing that it was given by the then district magistrate Rajat Kumar Mishra and was not lawful.

Prosecution counsel B S Bhati, replying to the arguments, said that the prosecution permission was based on the facts and evidences furnished by the police in its investigation.

The case had reached the stage of judgement earlier on February 25, 2014 but sudden appearance of an undecided prosecution application before the trial court, moved by the then prosecution counsel in 2006 put off the verdict for two flat years.

(with inputs from PTI)

Updated Date: Jan 18, 2017 12:40 PM