Court hears plea against Salman's conviction in blackbuck poaching case

Jodhpur: A district court today began hearing Bollywood superstar Salman Khans plea against his conviction by a trial court, which had handed him a five-year jail sentence in a blackbuck poaching case.

The star is on bail after the trial court convicted him on April 5 for killing two blackbucks in Kankani village near here in October 1998 while his unit was shooting for the film Hum Saath Saath Hain. Khan's co-stars were acquitted in the case. 

His lawyers argued today before the district and sessions court that Khan cannot be held guilty on the basis of similar evidence which was rejected by the High Court in two other poaching cases against him.

The arguments before judge Chandra Kumar Songara lasted for over three hours and would now continue on August 3 and 4.

Khan's counsel Mahesh Bora began with the statements by driver Harish Dulani and vehicle owner Arun Yadav. Bora argued that the bloodstains and gun pellets found in the Gypsy said to have been used in the hunt were planted.

He argued that police officer Satyamani Tiwari, who is said to have searched Khan's hotel room and recovered firearms, was also a false witness as his statements had many gaps. The state government had also challenged Khan's acquittal in a case under the Arms Act in the same court.

First the arguments in the Kankani poaching case would be completed and after the completion of that, arguments on the state's appeal would begin, public prosecutor Pokar Ram Bishnoi said.

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