The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Bollywood actor Salman Khan in two Chinkara poaching cases on an appeal by the Rajasthan government, challenging his acquittal in July this year.
The Rajasthan high court in July had declared the actor not guilty in the killing of chinkaras while he was shooting a film in the desert area. The Rajasthan government, on October 19, this year challenged the actor’s acquittal in the case and had contended that Salman should be ordered to surrender.
The Rajasthan High Court on July 25 had acquitted Khan in the poaching case citing lack of evidences to incriminate him.
The high court had said that there was no evidence to prove that the chinkaras were shot by Salman’s licensed gun. The driver of the jeep which was used by the actor was claimed to be the key witness in the case. But the driver had gone missing and was later tracked down by a news channel. The state government had claimed that Salman’s driver was not intentionally cross examined by his lawyers.
The jeep driver, Harish Dulani had said that he saw Salman shooting the chinkara but had not appeared in front of court as he had been threatened. Salman’s lawyers had argued that because the witness never appeared in court, they did not get the opportunity to cross-examine him.
In 1998, Khan and seven others were accused of hunting and killing chinkara in two separate incidents.
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 the film ‘Hum Sath Sath Hain’.
Chinkaras are a protected animals and hunting them is banned by the government. With the fresh turn of events trouble for Salman is seems to be increasing.