The trial against former state minister Dharmarao Baba Atram in the infamous Chinkara poaching case has taken a new twist. The case will now be pleaded by district government pleader (DGP) Ujjwala Pawar on behalf of the state government.
On Saturday, there was a trial before the judicial magistrate (first class) AS Pandangale at Saswad. Earlier, additional public prosecutor Ramesh Ghorpade pleaded the case on behalf of state. Later the government gave a notification that the case would be pleaded by DGP Pawar.
Atram was not present in the court in Saturday’s trial. His lawyer Vijay Nahar submitted an application with a doctor’s certificate claiming that Atram was unable to attend the trial as he was not well and suffering from gastro.
Magistrate Pandangale adjourned the matter till November 16.
The then sub-divisional forest officer Hanumant Dhumal had filed a 900-page chargesheet against Atram with a list of 95 prosecution witnesses. Dhumal, who is now a divisional forest officer posted in Thane, is scheduled to depose in the court next.
Atram has been named as an accused in the chargesheet along with Mahesh Biramane, Suresh Biramane, Sayyad Ali, Ravindra Wadkar and Ankush Sanas.
According to the prosecution, “Atram and his associates allegedly killed a Chinkara near Chaudharwadi in Pune district on June 14, 2008 while he was on his way to Atram’s farm house at Khingar near Panchgani. They reached Mahabaleshwar around 9 pm. They went in search of the antelope 30 km from the main road and reached Chaudharwadi.”