NEW DELHI: Actor Salman Khan has been acquitted in two poaching cases, with the Rajasthan High Court overturning earlier verdicts that sentenced him to jail time. The Bollywood actor was under trial as accused of shooting protected antelopes or chinkara in separate incidents in 1998.

The High Court said that there was no evidence to conclude that the animals had been shot dead by Khan’s licensed gun. A third case involving Khan’s alleged poaching of an endangered blackbuck is yet to be decided on in Rajasthan.

For Khan, it’s a string of good legal news, as last year the Mumbai High Court overturned the actor's conviction in a 13-year-old hit-and-run case in which he was accused of running over a homeless man while driving drunk in Mumbai.

Following the HC verdict on the poaching cases, Khan tweeted “thank u for ur prayers and support.”

The internet, however, isn’t entirely pleased. This is perhaps because evidence was lacking owing to witnesses suddenly choosing not to turn up in court, and evidence suddenly not matching. For instance, when the lower court pronounced Khan guilty, the pellets in the animals matched those found in Khan’s possession and also Khan’s rifle. Yet, the Rajasthan High Court concluded they did not match. Whether the initial match was a result of a shoddy investigation, just not discovered, or later changed… we do not know.

Similarly, at the time of the original investigation and conviction in the lower court, forensic reports seem to have matched the blood stains at the site of the poaching with those found at the hotel Khan was staying in. The High Court’s acquittal of Khan suggests the evidence was not as compelling.

The internet has more to say: