Admitting Rajasthan Government’s request for an urgent hearing against Salman Khan’s acquittal in the twin cases of Chinkara poaching, the Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Bollywood superstar.
The Rajasthan High Court had on July 25 acquitted Khan in two cases of Chinkara (black buck) poaching in Jodhpur, while observing that the statement of a key witness could not be considered as he had “disappeared” and the defence could not cross-examine him during the trial.
The witness, driver of the vehicle in which the actor was travelling when the alleged incidents had taken place, surfaced after the High Court verdict and claimed Khan had shot the gazelle. The High Court’s decision were countering two trial court’s verdict convicting the Bollywood actor and handing him one and five years of imprisonment, following which the superstar had to spend 13 days in jail.
Salman was convicted by a lower court in 2006 in the two chinkara cases, but this was overturned by the High Court in its judgment. One of the animals was killed at Bhawad on the outskirts of Jodhpur on September 26, 1998, and the other at Ghoda Farms on September 28, 1998. At that time, they were shooting for film ‘Hum Sath Sath Hain’. Chinkara is an endangered animal accorded the highest protection under the Wildlife Protection Act.