Bollywood actresses Neelam, Sonali Bendre and Tabu are likely to appear on Friday in a local court in Jodhpur for their identification by prosecution witness in the infamous 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
The actresses, who along with actors Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan are accused in the killing of two blackbucks, arrived in Jodhpur on Thursday. Poonam Chand, the main prosecution eyewitness and the complainant, was cross examined by the counsel of Salman Khan and other accused. Her cross-examination by the defence will continue on Friday.
"The hearing took place on Thursday and will continue on Friday," Chand's counsel Mahipal Bishnoi said. "Though all the accused have been granted exemption from appearance in the court, Chief Judicial Magistrate (Rural) Chandra Kala Jain had asked the defence to make the accused present in the court for the identification by the prosecution witnesses, when needed," Bishnoi said.
Salman's counsel Hastimal Saraswat said that since his client and Saif Ali Khan were known faces, there was no rationale behind the exercise of their identification.
"But since there may be some confusion in case of the accused female co-stars, the defence has decided to have them present in the court before the eye-witness for the purpose of their identification corresponding with the mentioning in the FIR," Saraswat said.
Two blackbucks had been allegedly killed by Salman Khan and his co-stars at Kankani in Jodhpur on the intervening night of 1-2 October, 1998 during the shooting of the film "Hum Saath Saath Hain". The trial in the case had begun on July 6 this year.