#Human Rights
Everyone who wants to see the rule of law and reason prevail over sensationalism

Update, August 31, 2007. Salman Khan has been granted bail, and his sentence suspended, while the Rajasthan High Court considers his revision petition on this verdict. The next hearing is scheduled for October 24, 2007.

A Sessions Court in Jodhpur, India, on Friday (August 24, 2007) upheld the five-year jail term for actor Salman Khan in the Chinkara poaching case, turning down the actor’s appeal against his sentencing last year.

He will now be appealing to the High Court of Rajasthan.

This case has always been very high profile, with a lot of media frenzy, given the celebrity nature of the accused. There are those who maintain that he is being victimized because of his celebrity status, and others who maintain that no one is above the law.

Since another round of media hysteria is already under way, this petition is for the purpose of showing support to Salman Khan in his legal battles, and to express the wish that he be given his due process in the court of justice.

The motto of India is "Satyameva Jayate" -- "The Truth Alone Will Triumph".

We, supporters of Salman Khan, fully believe in that motto, and have every confidence that the truth will emerge in his cases, and that he will be proved innocent, as he has maintained from the first. Like Salman, we trust the Indian judicial system to deliver true justice ultimately. We wish the best for Salman as he exercises his constitutional right to appeal to a higher court.

We thank the Indian media for giving us information on the many procedural and factual errors and inconsistencies in the cases against Salman Khan. We are grateful to them for reporting that, from the first, animal rights groups were looking for a big enough celebrity to target to bring attention to their cause. We are grateful to the media for publishing Chief Judicial Magistrate Brijendra Kumar Jain's statement that he wanted to make "an example" of Salman Khan in giving his judgement in the Jodhpur magistrate's court.

We thank the media for producing the key prosecution witness Harish Dulani, who publicly asserted that he did not see Salman Khan kill any animal. We thank the media for publishing the learned judge's decision not to recall this key witness to his court, but to proceed with the judgement based on an earlier invalidated statement. We thank the media for publishing the forensic report, which states that it was not possible to prove conclusively that there was any blood of a chinkara or black buck in the Gypsy alleged to have been used by Salman.

We thank the media for informing us that the only other person to have ever been given a five year sentence in a poaching case was had been poaching and smuggling wildlife articles for two decades.

Finally, we are grateful to the media for publishing the judgement copy, which acquitted everyone else charged in the case from either aiding, abetting, accompanying, or assisting Salman Khan in the commission of this alleged crime. We would not other wise have known that, though acquitted under the Arms Act of using any weapon, Salman was nevertheless convicted under the Wildlife Protection Act of killing a chinkara.

We reiterate our belief and trust in the Indian judicial system and the independent media, and hope to see the prosecution prove beyond any reasonable doubt, as they are required to do under Indian law, that Salman is guilty. And if they cannot do that, we expect the much lauded Indian judiciary to honor their commitment to their duty, and find Salman innocent.

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The Support Salman Khan petition to Everyone who wants to see the rule of law and reason prevail over sensationalism was written by Savitri and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.