Blackbuck poaching case: HC directs lower courts not to proceed with 3 appeals
- All the three appeals arise from a common judgment pending before the sessions court and the state has also preferred Leave to Appeal before the HC.
The Rajasthan High Court has directed the district and sessions court (Jodhpur district) not to proceed with the three appeals under consideration in the two blackbuck poaching cases.
Justice Manoj Kumar Garg, while hearing the plea of Bollywood actor Salman Khan, issued notices to the state government, witness Poonamchand in the poaching case and the acquitted co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Dushyant Singh.
Salman Khan's counsel Hastimal Saraswat said that on October 2, 1998, a case of hunting of two blackbucks was registered against Salman Khan and others accused. The trial court sentenced Khan to five years in the case on April 5, 2018, while acquitting co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Dushyant Singh.
The petitioner had filed an appeal in the district and sessions court (Jodhpur district) against the five-year sentence, after hearing of which Salman Khan's sentence was suspended. Against the acquittal of the co-accused in the case, a witness named Poonamchand filed an appeal in the district court, while the state government filed a leave to appeal against the co-accused in the High Court, which is currently under consideration.
Saraswat said that another appeal of the state government is under consideration in the sessions court, which was filed against Salman Khan's acquittal in the Arms Act case. Khan has demanded in the petition that while transferring the three appeals pending in the district and sessions court to the High Court, it should be heard with the leave to appeal by the state government.
“All the three appeals arise from a common judgment pending before the sessions court and the state has also preferred Leave to Appeal before the High Court, therefore, ends of justice will be met if these three appeals are heard and decided together by the same court along with Criminal Leave to Appeal. Earlier, in Chinkara poaching cases, the High Court, while exercising power under Section 386 Cr.P.C allowed a similar transfer petition and directed the Criminal Appeal pending in the court of sessions judge, Jodhpur, to be transferred to the High Court,” Saraswat argued.
"In the meanwhile, the sessions judge, Jodhpur district, is directed not to proceed in Criminal Appeals,” the bench said.