Salim Khan, highly regarded Bollywood scriptwriter and the father of superstar Salman Khan, was to appear in the Panvel court on April 3 in connection with the hearing of the 1998 wildlife case, but he could not make it due to malaria, reports The Times of India.
On October 15, 1998, the forest department had raided Sr Khan’s ‘Arpita Farmhouse’ in Panvel in the outskirts of Mumbai for keeping endangered species like a blackbuck, two chitals and a peahen. He was charged charged under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
The case hearing continued with three of the four witnesses – former Assistant Conservator of Forests S A Momin, and wildlife activists Debi Goenka and Manish Moghe – present. Only Moghe could testify. Goenka, a Bombay Environment Action Group activist, and Momin will have to appear at the next hearing. The fourth witness, former Deputy Conservator of Forests R K Das was not present and has been declared absconding.
Salman himself had been charged in the blackbuck poaching case in Rajasthan during the film shoot of Hum Saath Saath Hain and even spent some time in jail. In fact, the farmhouse raid happened just two months after the poaching incident. Salman’s court case is still on, with multiple hearings being postponed for various reasons.
The next hearing of Salim Khan’s case is on April 25.