Jodhpur: Prosecution today began its arguments in the Rajasthan High Court on an appeal by actor Salman Khan against his one-year sentence by a lower court in the chinkara poaching case of 1998.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan

Additional Advocate General K L Thakur read the FIR and the statements of the prosecution witness and driver of Khan's vehicle on the night of alleged poaching in justification of three cases of poaching against the actor.

The defence had raised question on the intentions of the prosecution to begin the investigation in one case and later adding two more cases of poaching at different places on different dates barely relying on the statements of driver Harish Dulani, who could not be examined in the court ever.

Citing his statement, Thakur told the court that the forest department learnt about the poaching of this case of Bhawad, during the statements of Dulani in another case of poaching that had taken place on October 1-2, 1998 in Kankani village wherein 2 black bucks were killed by allegedly by Khan.

"In his statements, when Dulani was asked about similar incidents of poaching earlier besides the one at Kankani, he had mentioned that Khan had poached two chinkaras in Bhawad and one chinkara in Ghoda Farm (Mathania) on September 26-27 and September 28-29, 1998 respectively," he argued, adding that this was how two more cases of poaching were registered against Khan.

Though Justice Nirmal Jeet Kaur also questioned the relevance of the statements of such a witness, who did not appear in the court for examination, the prosecution attempted to corroborate his statements by matching them with those of other prosecution witnesses.

The arguments, however, could not be completed today. The hearing will continue next Tuesday.

The hearing on the appeal of Khan began in the high court on November 16 last year and the defence had completed its arguments.