Salman Khan is clean. No one killed the blackbuck

Kumar Shakti Shekhar
Kumar Shakti ShekharJul 26, 2016 | 08:03

Salman Khan is clean. No one killed the blackbuck

Luck has been too (or two times) benevolent for Bollywood star Salman Khan. The Rajasthan High Court on July 25 cleared the ever-controversial actor of charges of poaching endangered animals - a blackbuck and a chinkara - in Rajasthan in 1998.

Just seven months ago, on December 10, 2015, Salman was acquitted by the Bombay High Court in a 13-year-old hit-and-run case. He was accused of killing a labourer sleeping on a footpath in Mumbai's Bandra.


In both the poaching and hit-and-run cases, the trial courts had held Salman guilty. But fortune favoured the 50-year-old on both the occasions.

The Bishnoi trial court had convicted and sentenced Salman - one of the most successful stars of Bollywood - to six years in jail for the two poaching incidents which had taken place while the actor was shooting for Hum Saath Saath Hain in Jodhpur. In the blackbuck case, the high court overturned the lower court's order which had even sent him to nearly a week in jail in 2007.

On at least three scores, the high court's order in the poaching case has only deepened the mystery.

1. No one killed the blackbuck

The blackbuck was killed, and someone killed it. These are facts. But these questions remain unanswered: who killed the blackbuck? Or, how was the blackbuck killed?

The high court stated that the pellets recovered from the vehicle used by Salman for hunting did not match those of his licensed gun.

Is it not possible that Salman used a gun other than his own licensed one?


The defence argued on the lines that the pellets found in the vehicle had, in fact, been planted. Their alibi: the pellets were not there in the vehicle when the forest department had made the inspection.

They were later discovered by the police, the defence argued. They further claimed that the pellets found in the vehicle were that of an air gun which was not capable of killing an animal.

So, the question remains: if the blackbuck was not killed by Salman's licensed gun, who killed it and how was it killed?

Has Salman Khan managed to wriggle out of the two most serious legal cases against him?

2. Vanishing act of the witness

A key witness in the case, Harish Dulani, who drove Salman's vehicle has gone missing. The vanishing act not only deepens the mystery but it also should have weakened Salman's case. But the opposite happened in this case. It weakened the prosecution's case.

Defence counsel Mahesh Bora argued that they could never cross-examine Dulani. They said the driver's version could not be relied upon. This helped the defence argue that Salman was falsely implicated in the two poaching cases.

3. Too many benefits of doubt

A number of benefits of doubt helped Salman pull off the case.


Like, the benefit of doubt over the gun used for killing the blackbuck, the actor also got advantage of the fact that the forensic report did not mention how old the blood sample of the animal was, though the prosecution had sought to prove that the blood sample, picked up from the soil, belonged to the dead animal.

Also the defence raised questions over the forensic report of the tyre marks of Salman's vehicle. The prosecution presented six samples. While four of these samples matched the tyres of the vehicle, two did not.

This was favourable for Salman and he got the benefit of doubt on this count as well.

It was sufficient for the Rajasthan High Court to acquit Salman owing to a lack of evidence. But the question still remains: who killed the blackbuck? Or, did no one kill it?

Last updated: July 26, 2016 | 08:03
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