Finally, the trial in the blackbuck poaching case of October 1, 1998 in which actors Salman Khan and his co-stars are accused, began here on Saturday with the cross-examination of the main prosecution witness by the defence. The cross examination, which lasted for over two-and-a-half hours, will continue on August 2 and 3.
Prosecution's eyewitness Poonam Chand had appeared in the court of chief judicial magistrate Chandra Kala Jain, where Khan's counsel Hastimal Saraswat asked him questions on the basis of the statements recorded by the then forest officer Lalit Boda on October 11, 1998 at the forest office.
For this, the court arranged a television set and a video cassette player in the court to listen to the recorded statements of Poonam Chand. Saraswat said that most of his answers to the court today did not match the statements given by him to the forest officer in 1998.
Poonam Chand narrated the story on the day of poaching by Khan and his co-stars including Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and Tabu and said that he had seen them driving after the black bucks and that he and another eyewitness Choga Ram, who is yet to be cross-examined, had stopped him.
After the framing of charges, he is the second witness being examined. Before this, one Sagar Ram was examined. There are a total 51 witnesses in this case of poaching of two black bucks in Kankani area. After Salman Khan, the counsels of his co-stars will begin cross examination of the witnesses.