A court in Jodhpur will pronounce its verdict in the case under Arms Act against Bollywood superstar Salman Khan today. This is one of the four cases against the actor. While the Rajasthan High Court has acquitted him in two cases of poaching of chinkara, trial in the third case of alleged poaching of two blackbucks is on. His counsel H M Saraswat said, “We had argued in the court that there was no evidence that Khan was carrying fire arms either during his stay here or during alleged poaching. What he was found in possession with, were actually the air guns.” The defence also raised questions on the prosecution permission arguing that it was given by the then district magistrate Rajat Kumar Mishra and was not lawful.
Here is 5 key points
1. If convicted, the Bollywood superstar might face a jail term of 1-3 years if his possession of illegal arms is proved. If he is found guilty of using the arms for poaching, the period of imprisonment might get extended to seven years. Khan will be appearing in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
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2. Besides the cases of poaching of endangered antelopes under Wildlife (Protection) Act, a case under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act was filed against Khan for allegedly keeping and using the fire arms with expired licence in the poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998.
3. Arguments by both the sides in this case were completed on January 9, after which magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit reserved the judgement for January 18 directing the actor to be present in the court. Before this, Khan had appeared in the court on March 10 last year for recording of his statements, wherein he had pleaded innocence and had stated that he had been framed in the case by the forest department. Prosecution counsel B S Bhati, replying to the arguments, said that the prosecution permission was based on the facts and evidences furnished by the police in its investigation. The case had reached the stage of judgement earlier on February 25, 2014 but sudden appearance of an undecided prosecution application before the trial court, moved by the then prosecution counsel in 2006 put off the verdict for two flat years.
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4. The charges on Salman Khan includes possession of a US-made revolver and a 22-bore rifle with licences of both the firearms been expired on September 22, 1998, during the shoot of ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain at Jodhpur in 1998. Allegedly the actor had used the firearms to hunt two black bucks on October 1 and 2 in the Kankani village on the outskirts of Jodhpur.
5. However, the High Court had acquitted Salman, who was accused in two black buck poaching cases, the cases are currently in Supreme Court. The case against Salman Khan was registered under the Arms Act in October, 1998. He is currently accused in the Chinkara poaching case, black buck poaching case and the arms act case.
(With PTI inputs)