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Big relief for Salman Khan, acquitted in Arms Act case

Last updated on: January 18, 2017 14:40 IST

A case was filed against the ‘Being Human’ star for allegedly keeping and using the fire arms with an expired licence in the alleged poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998.

IMAGE: Bollywood actor Salman Khan walks through a crowd outside a court in Jodhpur on Wednesday. Photographs: PTI Photo

Bollywood actor Salman Khan was on Wednesday acquitted by a court in Jodhpur in an Arms Act case related to the alleged poaching of two blackbucks 18 years ago

Chief Judicial Magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpuroti acquitted 51-year-old Salman, who along with his sister Alvira was present in the court.

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 an expired licence in the alleged poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998.

Superstar Salman Khan thanked fans for their good wishes and prayers after he was acquitted by the court.

Taking to Twitter, the star expressed his gratitude to fans for showing their immense support throughout his trial. “Thank you for all the support and good wishes,” the actor wrote.

The actor’s counsel H M Saraswat had earlier 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 air guns.”

The defence had also raised questions on the prosecution permission arguing that it was given by the then district magistrate Rajat Kumar Mishra and was not lawful.

Prosecution counsel B S Bhati, replying to the arguments, had 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 judgment 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 years.

Khan had earlier appeared in court on March 10 last year for recording of his statements before the court, wherein he had pleaded innocence and had stated that he had been framed in the case by the forest department.

IMAGE: Salman's sister Alvira Khan Agnihotri at the court premises.

The case under the Arms Act 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.

Elaborate security arrangements were made in the court premises in view of Salman’s appearance with nearly 150 policemen deployed.

A large number of the actor’s fans were also present near the court premises.

While pronouncing Salman’s acquittal, the magistrate said the prosecution could not prove the case of possession and use of fire arms with expired licence.

In the 102-page order, the court did not find him accused in any of the sections filed against him under the Arms Act.

Hailing the decision, defence counsel Saraswat said the court “admitted our arguments that Khan was framed in this case”.

Prosecution counsel B S Bhati said that they would appeal against the acquittal in the sessions court after studying the judgment.

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