Salman acquitted in Arms Act case

Salman acquitted in Arms Act case

Salman acquitted in Arms Act case

Actor Salman Khan was acquitted in the Arms Act case by the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, on Wednesday.

The court gave Salman the benefit of doubt and held him “not guilty” of possessing an unlicensed weapon and using it to allegedly hunt blackbucks in 1998.

In the 102-page judgement, Chief Judicial Magistrate D S Rajpurohit held that while the evidence against Salman is weak to hold him guilty, the prosecution has also failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The verdict was pronounced within minutes after Salman and his sister Alvira entered the court.

Referring to the two post-mortem reports that listed different causes behind the blackbucks’ death – dog bite and gunshot wound – Salman’s lawyer Hastimal Saraswat argued that the actor possessed only an air gun and there was no evidence that he used firearms.

Saraswat told reporters, “We have always said that the evidence, documents and the entire case were fabricated to frame Salman. He was innocent and justice has been rendered by the court.”

Rajasthan Law Minister Arjunlal Garg said, “We will form a committee which will read the complete judgement after which we will decide the future course of action.”

The Arms Act case dates back to October 1, 1998, when five actors — Salman, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam — were accused of hunting two blackbucks while shooting for the movie Hum Saath Saath Hain at  Kankani village in Rajasthan.

Salman was accused of possessing two guns with expired licence which he used to kill two blackbucks, a protected animal under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Salman, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali and Tabu have been summoned by the Jodhpur chief judicial magistrate court on January 25 for recording their  statements in the blackbuck poaching case.

Minutes after he was acquitted, Salman tweeted, “Thank you for all the support and good wishes”.

Since then, Twitter has been abuzz with reactions. 

Former state environment minister and a close friend of Salman, Bina Kak, also tweeted within minutes after the verdict was announced.

Salman’s fans rejoiced outside the court premises by dancing to the actor’s hit numbers though private bouncers had cordoned off the area.

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