Jodhpur Court Acquits Actor Salman Khan in Arms Act Case

This is one of the four cases against the actor. He was earlier acquitted in two cases of poaching of Chinkara.

Updated
India
2 min read
Actor Salman Khan arrives at a Mumbai court. (Photo: PTI)

A Jodhpur Court on Wednesday acquitted actor Salman Khan in the 1998 Arms Act case.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit pronounced his verdict on the case against Khan for alleged illegal possession of weapons. He was accused of using arms with an expired licence.

The actor, who was present during the hearing, later tweeted:

“Will Move An Appeal After Analysing Judgement”

The Jodhpur court let the actor off after giving him a “benefit of doubt”, informed prosecution counsel Bhawani Singh Bhati .

He said that after receiving a copy of the 102-page judgement and analysing it, they will move an appeal against the verdict.

While speaking about the upcoming hearing in the blackbuck case on 25 January, Bhati said that the “facts and circumstances were different in this case, so we hope it will not affect the judgement of that case”.

Khan’s lawyer said that the actor was acquitted “after the prosecution failed to provide conclusive evidence”.

Next Hearing on 25 January

A total of four cases were filed against Salman Khan in the blackbuck case at different police stations in Jodhpur.

Three cases were related to the alleged killing of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on 1-2 October 1998. The fourth one was in connection with the possession and use of fire arms with an expired licence.

He was booked a under Sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act.

If the actor was convicted under Section 3/25, he would've faced a jail term of three years and if under 3/25, he would’ve been behind bars for seven years.

Following Wednesday’s verdict, he has now been acquitted in three related cases.

The next case's hearing is on 25 January.

Apart from Salman Khan, actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu have also been asked by the court to appear before it on 25 January to record their statements in the poaching case.

“Framed By Forest Dept”

Arguments by both the sides in the Arms Act case were completed on 9 January, after which Magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit reserved the judgement for 18 January, directing the actor to be present in the court.

Before this, Khan had appeared in the court on 10 March last year to record his statements, wherein he had pleaded innocence and had stated that he had been framed in the case by the forest department.

His counsel HM 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 the 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.

Prosecution counsel BS Bhati, replying to the arguments, said that the prosecution permission was based on the facts and evidence furnished by police in its investigation.

The case had reached the stage of judgement earlier on 25 February 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.

(With PTI and ANI inputs)

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