Salman Khan seeks HC nod to appear by video conferencing in poaching case

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Jodhpur, Feb 4 (PTI) Actor Salman Khan moved the Rajasthan High Court on Thursday seeking exemption from a sessions court direction for him to appear in person for the hearing on appeals in the blackbuck poaching case and sought permission to appear in the proceedings virtually from Mumbai itself.

The district and sessions court is slated to hear the case on February 6.

A division bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Dinesh Mehta, while admitting the application, issued notice to the state and central governments seeking reply by Friday and listed the matter for hearing on the same day.

It may be noted that the hearing in the case by the district and sessions judge is for two appeals, one by the Bollywood star challenging his five-year sentence by a trial court in a case of poaching two blackbucks and another by the Rajasthan government challenging the acquittal of co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and a local person Dushyant Singh.

“Following 17 exemptions during the hearing, the session judge has ordered Khan to appear in court in person on the next hearing scheduled on February 6 for hearing of the appeals,' his counsel H M Saraswat said.

We moved the High Court with a prayer that he be permitted to appear via video conferencing from Mumbai, said Saraswat.

Citing the pandemic situation, the actor's lawyer said Khan has witnessed huge crowds whenever he has appeared in court and that such gatherings are not warranted during these times.

The petition further stated that it was not only an issue of his own security but the law and order situation is also to be considered.

Admitting the application, the court issued notices to the state and union governments to present their side while listing the matter for hearing on Friday. PTI CORR HDA