Salman Khan acquitted in Arms Act case

Jodhpur, January 18: Superstar Salman Khan was acquitted by a Jodhpur court in an Arms Act case linked to killing of a blackbuck 18 years ago in Rajasthan. Khan had pleaded 'not guilty' to charges of violating the law by keeping unlicensed weapons and using them. Acquitting the actor, the court said that the prosecution failed to submit enough evidence against the actor.

Chief Judicial Mesgsitrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit, after completing the hearing on January 9 in a case registered in 1999, had reserved the judgement for today.

"Justice has won. The prosecution completely failed to prove charges under sec 3/25, 3/27 of Arms Act," Salman's lawyer HS Saraswat told India Today.

"He has been given benefit of doubt. We'll decide on appealing against the verdict after analysing the judgement," said the public prosecutor.

"We'll decide on the further action once we receive the copy of the order," lawyer of Vishnoi Samaj said.

The case involves the alleged killing of a deer when the 51-year-actor and his co-stars - Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu - were shooting for 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' in the forests near Jodhpur in 1998. In 2007, Salman had spent a week in Jodhpur jail before the court granted him bail.

Besides the cases of poaching of endangered antelopes under Wildlife (Protection) Act, a case under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act was filed against Khan for allegedly keeping and using the fire arms with expired licence in the poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998.

Khan arrived in the Rajasthan city with his sister Alvira Khan and reached the court ten minutes before the verdict was delivered.

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.