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Bollywood star Salman Khan was acquitted by a court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in the case of submitting fake affidavit in the black buck poaching case on Monday.

His affidavit had claimed that Salman had lost the license documents of his weapons though his license had been sent for renewal. Salman’s counsel argued his intention wasn’t to submit a false affidavit.

Earlier last month, the Rajasthan High Court had sent fresh notices to Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Dushyant Singh on a plea filed by the government against their acquittal in the black buck poaching case.

This came months after the actors were acquitted in the said case, while Salman was convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. Salman was later granted bail after spending two nights in the Jodhpur Central jail.

Salman was convicted for killing two blackbucks in Jodhpur during the shooting of his 1998 movie ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’. The court had acquitted his co-stars- Saif, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali, and Jodhpur resident Dushyant Singh – due to lack of evidence.

Following the court’s order, the Bishnoi Sabha appealed against the actors’ acquittal. The black buck falls under the endangered category and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.

The actors were reportedly in a vehicle which Salman was driving when they spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them. In January 2017, Salman had pleaded not guilty and had said in a statement, “Only the first forensic report of Dr Nepalia saying that the animal died of ‘natural causes’ was true and the rest of the evidence is false.”

—India Legal Bureau

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