I am surprised to read the judgement of Chief Judicial Magistrate (Jodhpur Rural) in the blackbucks poaching case, wherein Bollywood superstar Saman Khan has been convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment along with fine, while five of his co-accused were acquitted giving benefit of doubt.
I feel Salman Khan has been convicted for being a superstar, and not for being a culprit.
In this case, there were the same set of witnesses who deposed against Salman and his associates, and there were the same set of evidences which were put forward against Salman and his co-accused.
How can we term it as justice if the five co-accused are acquitted and Salman is sentenced to five years' imprisonment? Does it not imply that it was Salman who has been hunting alone, of driving the vehicle alone, of firing at the black bucks alone, and thus was adjudged the lone culprit?
The other point is that Salman was acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in a similar blackbuck poaching case in another village near Jodhpur. Then where is the logic behind convicting him in this case?
The sad part is that the chief judicial magistrate in his verdict has mentioned that 'Khan is a film star whose actions are followed by the common man and still he shot dead two innocent and mute blackbucks (sic), a Schedule-I animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, so he cannot be granted benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act as sought by the defence."
In my opinion, if this is considered a valid criterion, then it is also a fact that Salman Khan donates crores of rupees in charities, arranges free treatment for lakhs of people, and the common people could also 'follow' his good work too. In such a circumstance, Salman should get the benefit for his positive work.
I personally feel that injustice has been meted out to Salman Khan. One should punish a culprit, not a superstar for his fame. I hope Salman Khan will get relief from higher courts soon.
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