The trial of the last prosecution witness against Salman Khan in the infamous black buck poaching case began on Monday in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate, Jodhpur. The then additional superintendent of police and investigating officer Ashok Patni appeared in the court on Monday and was cross examined by the defence counsel for six hours. After the marathon arguments, which will continue, magistrate Chandra Kala Jain deferred the hearing till January 15.
Hastimal Saraswat, counsel for Khan, said there were 16 witnesses in the case filed against Salman Khan under Arms Act, out of which 15 have already been tried and the last witness, the then additional SP Ashok Patni, was tried on Monday. He said there were no direct evidences against Khan to show that he carried arms with expired license during the alleged poaching of antelopes.
He claimed that the case against Salman was nothing but a sheaf of untruth. "During the arguments, the officer could not give satisfactory and conclusive replies to some very important questions raised by me," Saraswat claimed adding that there are no direct evidences against Salman.
A separate case was registered against Salman Khan by the forest department on October 15, 1998 under the Arms Act mentioning that the arms, in possession of Salman, during poaching of the black bucks at Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of October 1, 1998, had their licences expired and hence he had been using them illegally.
"Upon this complaint, the Luni police registered a case against Khan under sections 3/25 and 27 of Arms Act", said Saraswat. The trial in the case resumed in the court of chief judicial magistrate on May 25 this year after 7 years' of suspension following the Rajasthan High Court's rejection of the revision petition, which was filed by the state government in 2006. The court had rejected this petition on May 15 this year.