Salman Khan gets another reprieve, acquitted in poaching case
The cases in which the 50-year-old actor was absolved from charges, pertained to the poaching of black buck and Chinkara, both endangered antelopes, protected under the country's Wild Life Act. The incidents allegedly took place when the superstar was shooting for the film "Hum Saath Saath Hain" in 1998.
The High Court said there was no evidence to prove that the animals who were found dead were shot by Salman Khan.
“He has been acquitted in both the cases by the high court,” Khan’s counsel Hastimal Saraswat was quoted by the media as saying.
A lower court in Rajasthan had handed Salman Khan one- and five-year imprisonment sentences in the cases. The actor had appealed to the High Court later.
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.
The driver of the jeep that was used by Salman Khan and his co-stars, including Tabu, Neelam and Saif Ali Khan, who were also present in proximity, had been missing, weakening the prosecution's case.
After the High Court verdict, the state government must decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court. Khan spent a week in jail in Jodhpur in connection with the case before being granted bail.
A third case about Salman Khan's alleged poaching is yet to be decided in Rajasthan.
Last year, the Mumbai High Court overturned the actor's conviction in the 2002 hit-and-run case in which he was accused of running over a homeless man while driving drunk in Mumbai.