After nearly 20 years since when the case was filed, a Jodhpur court on Wednesday acquitted Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the Arms Act case for illegal possession of arms and ammunition. He will walk free on the basis of lack of evidence. Out of the four cases filed against him, the Rajasthan High Court had already acquitted him in two cases of poaching of chinkara. His trial in the third case of alleged poaching of two blackbucks is also currently in court.
The prosecution had claimed that the actor had possessed unlicensed guns for blackbuck shooting. It was further claimed that Khan had sent the arms back after poaching. One of them was a .22 rifle and other was .32 revolver. Over the years, the case saw several postponements. Here is a timeline of what all happened in the last two decades in the case.
18 January 2017: Jodhpur court acquits Salman of all charges in the state.
5 January 2017: Khan’s lawyers conclude arguments in the case against him under Arms Act.
9 December 2016: Final arguments in the case begin.
11 November 2016: Khan gets a Supreme Court notice on Rajasthan government’s appeal
25 July 2016: Rajasthan HC observed that pellets recovered from Khan’s hotel room did not match those recovered from the vehicle allegedly used by him.
10 March 2016: Jodhpur court summons the actor for recording his statement.
27 October 2015: Rajasthan HC allowed Khan’s petition seeking documents pertaining to the prosecution sanction against him in the case. The petition was earlier rejected by the court where the trial of the case was in progress.
28 July 2015: Rajasthan HC admits five witnesses that a lower court had refused to bring in.
29 April 2015: Khan appeared in Jodhpur court to record his statement and claimed that he was being framed.
24 April 2015: An application moved in Jodhpur court against Khan claiming that he was misleading the court by seeking exemption from appearance on health grounds.
23 April 2015: An application moved by Khan’s counsel seeking exemption from his physical appearance on the grounds of ill health was accepted in court.
3 March 2015: Jodhpur court permitted new witnesses, documents and evidence by the prosecution, thereby delaying the verdict further.
25 February 2015: The prosecution wanted to introduce new witnesses, evidence in an application that was moved back in August 2006. The court deferred the hearing saying that four pending applications from the prosecution have come to light.
15 October 1998: A case is registered by the Forest Department against Salman Khan under 3/25 and 3/27 sections of the Arms Act. It was claimed that the actor used arms with an expired license for alleged poaching on the night of 1-2 October 1998 when he was in Jodhpur for the shoot of his film Hum Saath Saath Hain.