Rajasthan govt wants Salman to surrender and complete jail term

New Delhi: The Rajasthan Government pleaded with the Supreme Court on Wednesday that super star Salman Khan be ordered to surrender and serve the jail term in two poaching cases.

On Tuesday, the state government had filed a special leave petition in the apex court against the acquittal of the Bollywood actor by the Rajasthan High Court on July 25. It found Salman not guilty of killing an endangered species of gazelle orchinkara in two separate incidents in 1998 while he was shooting a film in that state.

According to a NDTV report, one of the animals was killed at Bhawad on Jodhpur’s outskirts on September 26, 1998, and the other at Ghoda Farms two days later. At that time, the actor was shooting the film Hum Saath Sath Hain. Salman moved the Jodhpur bench of the High Court to challenge his conviction by a lower court and award of one and five-year terms in the two cases. After being convicted in 2007, he spent a week in jail in Jodhpur before being granted bail.

While finding him not guilty, the Rajasthan High Court said there was no evidence to prove that the animals that were found dead were shot by Salman’s licensed gun, NDTV said. A key witness, the driver of the jeep that was used by Salman Khan and his co-stars for their alleged hunt was missing, the prosecution admitted, which considerably weakened the case against the actor. But just days later, NDTV tracked down the driver, Harish Dulani, who said that he saw Salman shoot the chinkara, but had dodged testifying in court because he had been threatened, NDTV said.  

A written statement submitted by him earlier should be accepted, the Rajasthan government told the apex court on Wednesday. Salman’s lawyers have argued that because the witness never appeared in court, they did not get the opportunity to cross-examine him.

Hearing in the case is expected to begin after Diwali.

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