A Jodhpur court on Thursday provided relief to actor Salman Khan by dismissing a Rajasthan government plea in an 18-year-old case relating to submitting a false affidavit in court.
The Jodhpur district and sessions court judge Raghavendra Kachchawa dismissed a plea by the state government seeking prosecution of Khan under the Arms Act for keeping arms with an expired license and using the arms for poaching.
Khan was present through the hearing through video conferencing.
After the court’s verdict, Khan’s advocate Hastimal Saraswat said after years of hearings, we have finally got justice.
He said that this is the second time that a petition in the case has been dismissed by a court. In 2019, the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court too has dismissed a petition by the prosecution to lodge a case against Khan. The prosecution had challenged the CJM court order in the sessions court.
During the trial in the Blackbuck poaching case, the CJM court had sought Khan’s arms license.
Khan had submitted an affidavit in court in 2003 saying that the license has been misplaced. He said he had also filed an FIR at the Bandra police station in this regard on August 8, 2003 and he also submitted a copy of the FIR to the court.
Later, during the hearing, the prosecution told the court that Khan had not misplaced the license but had given it for renewal. The public prosecutor Bhawani Singh Bhati argued that the actor had tried to mislead the court and a case should be filed against him.
However after the CJM court dismissed the prosecution’s petition in 2019, the prosecution approached the sessions court.
After the trial, the court heard final arguments on February 9. Khan’s lawyer contended that the actor remained very busy and he had forgotten that he had given his arms license for renewal.
The lawyer cited a supreme court verdict in another case in which the apex court held that if the accused is not gaining any advantage by submitting a false affidavit in court, then the accused should be acquitted.
The final arguments concluded on February 9 and the court had reserved judgement for February 11.
If the court had found Khan guilty, then another case under section 193 of the IPC would have been lodged against him and, if found guilty, he would have faced seven years imprisonment and a fine.
Khan faces other cases related to Blackbuck poaching.
In 2018, a trial court had convicted Khan and awarded five-year imprisonment to Khan for shooting and killing two Blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur, during the shooting of his film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ in October 1998. Khan had challenged the trial court verdict in the sessions court.
After the conviction by the trial court, Khan had to spend three days in Jodhpur jail before getting bail. Khan has appealed against the trial court order in the sessions court.
Khan’s fellow actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonalii Bendre who were present on the spot on Kankani along with Khan were acquitted by the court.