Salman Khan's counsel made shocking arguments, blaming the forest department, targeting eye-witnesses, and citing previous cases where the actor had been acquitted, in the bail hearing at the Jodhpur sessions court where the order was reserved till Saturday.
Salman Khan's counsel said that eye-witnesses are unreliable and even raked up the 2002 Mumbai hit-and-run case acquittal.
As the prosecution delved into details of the incident as recounted by the eyewitnesses, shocking details from the night of Oct 1, 1998, emerged. One of the eyewitnesses revealed that he saw the gypsy with Salman in the front seat heading towards the forest and followed them. Salman was in the driver's seat and Saif Ali Khan was sitting beside him, the eyewitness said.
Salman urged the other actors to shoot the blackbucks because he was driving, the eyewitness said, adding that when the other actors refused, Salman stopped the car and took the shot himself.
The prosecution said that a .22 revolver and .22 rifle were recovered from Salman’s possession and that the rifle was the same one that was used for killing the blackbucks.
Another eyewitness, Satyamani Tiwari, who was appointed to look after the security concerns during the shooting of Hum Saath Saath Hain said that he saw the rifle in Salman Khan's bathroom wrapped in a sheet after the incident.
Further, Salman Khan's lawyers brought up previous acquittals. They raised the Chinkara poaching case in which he was given a 5-year sentence and then given bail, arguing that he should be given bail in this case as well.
Shockingly, they also cited the 2002 hit-and-run case, asking how he could be convicted for killing blackbucks when he's been acquitted in that case.
The judge was also taken aback by Salman Khan's counsel arguing for the suspension of the 5-year sentence at the bail hearing.
Salman Khan will spend a second night in jail following his being arrested and lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail after his conviction and 5-year sentencing in the 1998 Blackbuck poaching case by a Jodhpur court on Thursday. Earlier, Republic TV had reported how moves to free Salman Khan were already afoot and rules had been flouted to ensure his comfort.
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