Salman Khan chinkara poaching cases: SC agrees to hear Rajasthan Govt’s plea challenging actor’s acquittal
The Apex Court as also issued a notice to the Bollywood actor on the state government’s plea.
Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear plea filed by Rajasthan Government challenging Salman Khan’s acquittal in twin blackbuck poaching cases.
The SC has also issued a notice to the Bollywood actor on the state government’s plea, ANI reported.
On October 20, the Rajasthan government had requested the SC for urgent hearing against Salman Khan's acquittal.
The High Court on July 25 had acquitted the actor of all charges in the two cases related to poaching of Chinkaras in Jodhpur in 1998 while holding that the pellets recovered from the Chinkaras were not fired from Khan's licensed gun.
Salman may land in trouble again because the state government has sought stay of Rajasthan High Court judgement by which the 50-year old actor's conviction and jail term of five year was set aside.
"The Rajasthan government has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the apex court saying that the High Court has erroneously exercised it's revisional powers to set aside concurrent findings of lower court which convicted Salman for 5 years and the judgment suffers from legal infirmities...
"Salman's conviction was based on material evidence which High Court has turned down on hyper technical issues which is unsustainable," Additional Advocate General Shiv Mangal Sharma said in a statement.
The lawyer said that minor discrepancies in trial should never dilute the entire prosecution case and High Court has failed to see the "entire circumstances" which are proved beyond doubt against Salman by prosecution.
"The actor had ample opportunity to cross examine the eye witness Harish Dulani, the driver of Gypsy and when he intentionally did not examine him the statement given by the witness should be accepted against Salman," the lawyer said.
Two separate cases had been registered against Khan under section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act for poaching of two chinkaras in village Bhawad on 26-27 September, 1998 and one chinkara in Mathania (Ghoda Farm) on 28-29 September, 1998.
The trial court (CJM) had convicted him in both the cases sentencing him to one year and 5 year imprisonment on February 17, 2006 and April 10, 2006 respectively.
Animal Rights organisation PETA has applauded the move by the Rajasthan state government for approaching the Supreme Court against the High Court’s verdict.
(With agency inputs)