A magesterial court on Saturday started recording the statement of the investigating officer (IO) in connection with the 2008 chinkara poaching case in which former NCP minister Dharmarao Baba Atram and seven others are accused.
Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S A Pandagale is hearing the case that involved killings of two chinkaras and a hare in a village in Bhor taluka of Pune district on the intervening night of June 14 and 15, 2008.
Atram and his accomplices were traced by police after the villagers provided them with the registration number of vehicles present at the crime scene and on the basis of evidence collected from a Panchgani farm house owned by Atram.
Atram and his aides are facing charges under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Following the arrest of Atram on August 30, 2008, the then Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had sacked him from the cabinet.
On Saturday, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) S G Dhumal, investigating officer in the case who was Sub-Divisional Forest Officer at the time of the incident, testified before the court. He gave an account of the investigation done by him after the case was handed over to him from the previous investigating officer.
The next hearing is scheduled for September 7.