The Rajasthan High Court has come out with its verdict and acquitted Salman Khan of all charges on the 1998 Blackbuck, Chinkara poaching case. According to Salman Khan’s lawyer, the two cases were “absolutely false”. The esteemed High Court, it seems, found the evidence to be insufficient and gave the actor benefit of doubt in the both the cases. This is after Salman Khan challenged the 1-5 years jail imprisonment verdict by a lower court earlier.
According to the High Court, the pellets that were recovered from the Chinkaras were not fired from Khan’s licensed gun. The fact that the driver of the jeep that Khan used and his other co-stars, who accompanied him on this hunting escapade, were missing further weakened the case for the prosecution. Despite the endangered status of both the animals, Khan so far had to bear only seven days of imprisonment so far.
Though I have no authority on the legal validity of the Esteemed Court’s decision, as a common citizen of India, the memories of the Bandra hit and run case come back to me again and again. I have only one question to the country’s legal supremo, does the fact that pellets were not fired from Salman Khan’s gun really prove that he did not kill them? Is it not possible for a celebrity of his stature to procure another gun to kill the animals and is there clear evidence that reiterate that Salman Khan did not kill them? Somehow I am not convinced. If indeed Salman Khan did not kill them, is it not important to find out who killed these rare and endangered beings? Isn’t the time involved from 1998 to 2016 a bit too long for bringing the real culprits to light.
Though the Rajasthan Government plans to appeal in the Supreme Court, a part of me questions whether justice will prevail at all or has it become a petty pawn in the hands of power and money? Whether Salman Khan goes scotfree or would his deeds catch up with him sooner or later, the fact we learnt from the Bandra Hit & Run case is money can pretty much tilt the judgement in favour of those who have lots of money power!