Jodhpur, July 25: The Rajasthan High Court on Monday acquitted Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in two cases of chinkara poaching of 1998, disappointing the Bishnoi community and animal rights activists.
Salman had appealed before the Jodhpur bench of the high court challenging a lower court verdict of 2006 handing him a one year and a five-year jail term in the two separate incidents of poaching. Salman and the Rajasthan government had challenged the lower court’s verdicts on various grounds. On Monday, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, while allowing Salman’s appeal, acquitted him of all charges and dismissed the state government appeal for enhancing the sentences. “He has been acquitted in both the cases by the high court,” Salman’s counsel Hastimal Saraswat told IANS. It is the second time Salman has won acquittal in a crimil case. Last year, the Bombay High Court acquitted him in 2002 accident case that killed one man and injured four others on a Mumbai pavement. The actor had been found guilty by a sessions court for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced to five years in jail. “There is disappointment especially among wildlife lovers in our community,” said Hiraram Bishnoi, a community leader. Official sources said the Supreme Court might now be approached. But Rajasthan’s Additiol Advocate General K.L. Thakur told IANS: “We will study the judgment in detail first and then decide on the future course of action.” Salman’s sister Alvira was present in the packed court room when the judgment was pronounced. His other sister Arpita Khan Sharma hailed the verdict. (ians)