Actor Salman Khan has been acquitted today in two poaching cases, with the Rajasthan High Court over-turning an earlier verdict that sentenced him to five years in jail.

Salman Khan, 50, has been accused of shooting an endangered and protected antelopes in two separate incidents in 1998, while filming a movie in the desert state. But the High Court today said there was no evidence to prove that the animals who were found dead were shot by Mr Khan’s licensed gun.

Khan was accused of killing one of the animals in Bhawad on the outskirts of Jodhpur on September 26, 1998, and another in Ghoda Farms on September 28, 1998.

The driver of the jeep that was used by Salman Khan and his co-stars for their alleged hunt has been missing, weakening the prosecution’s case against the movie star, who was not required to attend today’s court session.

The state government must decide now whether to appeal to the Supreme Court to over-rule today’s decision. In 2007, Mr Khan spent a week in jail in Jodhpur before being granted bail.

At that time of the alleged incidents, Khan was shooting for the film “Hum Sath Sath Hain” in Jodhpur.

The actor is currently in a huge face-off with the National Women’s Commission for stating that his training for his role as a wrestler in his blockbuster new film, “Sultan”, left him feeling “like a raped woman.” He has not apologised for the comment, as demanded by the women’s rights body.

Last year, the Mumbai High Court overturned the actor’s conviction in a 13-year-old hit-and-run case in which he is accused of running over a homeless man while driving drunk in Mumbai. He has denied he was driving.

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