Blackbuck poaching case: Relief for Salman Khan as Jodhpur court rejects Rajasthan govt's plea against actor

The matter is linked to a case against Khan under the Arms Act, in which the actor was accused of keeping arms with an expired licence and using them for poaching

FP Staff February 11, 2021 18:58:21 IST
Blackbuck poaching case: Relief for Salman Khan as Jodhpur court rejects Rajasthan govt's plea against actor

File photo of Salman Khan

The Jodhpur District and Sessions court on Thursday dismissed the Rajasthan government's plea against actor Salman Khan in the blackbuck poaching case. The state government had accused the actor of submitting a false affidavit regarding his arms licence in 2003, reports said.

District and Sessions judge Raghvendra Kachhwal pronounced the order, which had been reserved for three days after the completion of arguments on 9 February. Khan was present in the court through video conferencing on Thursday.

The matter is linked to a case against Khan under the Arms Act, in which the actor was accused of keeping arms with an expired licence and using them for poaching.

Speaking to reporters after the order on Thursday, Khan's counsel HM Saraswat said, "We are happy that the court rejected the application of the state and absolved Khan of the allegation of a false affidavit. There was not much substance in the matter and the allegation had been made against him just for the purpose of harassment."

"We had replied in 2006 itself that no false affidavits were presented and such pleas are being furnished only to disturb him."

This is the second time that the actor has been freed from the allegation. Earlier, the court of the chief judicial magistrate had also absolved him of the charge, after which the state had challenged the decision in the district and sessions court.

Khan had filed the affidavit in the court in 2003 stating that he had lost his arms licence. The prosecution had argued that he had submitted a false affidavit as his licence was not lost but submitted for renewal.

"We argued that it was not intentional to submit this affidavit as Khan was a busy actor and had no exact idea about his licence at that time," said Saraswat.

He argued that if the accused has submitted a false affidavit by mistake and he has no advantage of such an act, he should be forgiven and absolved from the allegations.

Saraswat also presented some citations from the apex court in support of his arguments wherein the accused had been absolved of allegations of the submission of false affidavits or evidence in the court after admitting the mistake and tendering an apology.

Though the public prosecutor contended that it was an act of misleading the court purposefully stating that Khan knew that his licence was not lost, Judge Kachhwal rejected his arguments and provided relief to Khan by absolving him of the allegation.

Khan was arrested in 1998 for hunting two blackbucks in a village near Jodhpur. A case under the Arms Act was registered against him, and the court had demanded the submission of his arms licence. However, in 2003, Khan told the court that his licence had gone missing.

On Tuesday, Khan reportedly apologised for submitting a false affidavit to the Jodhpur session court in 2003.

With inputs from PTI

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