Salman told to appear in court in poaching case

Jodhpur: Bollywood actor Salman Khan was Tuesday directed by a court in Rajasthan`s Jodhpur city to present himself before it Sep 20 in connection with his appeal against his conviction in a poaching case.

Salman was sentenced to one-year imprisonment for killing a blackbuck and a chinkara (gazelle) in Bhawad village near Jodhpur Sep 26, 1998. The sentence was handed down by a Jodhpur court Feb 17, 2006.

The court had found Salman guilty under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. After his conviction, he spent three nights in Jodhpur Central Jail before the district and sessions court granted him bail.

Salman filed an appeal against the conviction March 9, 2006.

On Tuesday, District and Sessions Judge (Metropolitan) B.L. Sharma adjourned the hearing till Sep 20.

Public Prosecutor Ramsukh Sharma said that Salman had not presented himself before the court even once since the hearing began on the appeal.

"We argued that Salman could not get exemption from his presence always," said Sharma.

On the other hand, Salman`s counsel sought exemption from his presence, saying that it could lead to law and order situation as the actor has a huge fan following.

The court rejected the argument and said hearing would be conducted on regular basis from Sep 20.

Salman and seven others were accused of killing a blackbuck and a chinkara in two separate incidents. One of the animals was killed at Bhawad on the outskirts of Jodhpur Sep 26, 1998, and the other at Ghoda Farms Sep 28, 1998.

At that time, Salman and other actors were shooting for the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain.’


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