A sessions court in Jodhpur on Thursday dismissed Rajasthan government’s petition seeking prosecution of film actor Salman Khan for submitting a false affidavit regarding his arms licence during the hearing of a case accusing him of keeping arms with expired licence and using them for poaching.
Mr. Khan was present in the court through video conferencing from Mumbai, while the Public Prosecutor sought his trial under Section 193 (punishment for false evidence) of Indian Penal Code.
Mr. Khan was convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in 2018 for the killing of two black bucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur when he, along with several other actors, was shooting for the film Hum Saath Saath Hain in October 1998.
Mr. Khan had filed an affidavit in the court in 2003, stating that he had lost his arms licence. It was later revealed that the actor had submitted the licence in Mumbai for renewal.
The court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate had absolved Mr. Khan of the charge, after which the State government challenged the decision in the sessions court. The Public Prosecutor contended that the actor had deliberately tried to mislead the court.
Mr. Khan’s counsel Hastimal Saraswat had tendered an apology on his client’s behalf on Tuesday. He said he had filed the affidavit by mistake, as he was busy and did not have an exact idea about his licence at the time. He also cited some rulings of the Supreme Court absolving the accused if they did not take advantage of such an act.
District and Sessions Judge Raghvendra Kachhwal, who had reserved the order after completion of arguments on Tuesday, provided relief to Mr. Khan. It rejected the government’s plea and exonerated him of the allegation.