HC defers hearing of former minister's bail plea

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Mumbai, Aug 21 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today deferred the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea of former Maharashtra transport and tribal welfare minister Dharmatrao Atram, allegedly involved in Chinkara poaching in June, till tomorrow.

Justice V K Tahilramani, after hearing his plea, directed the prosecution to file its say on August 22.

In his plea, the former minister has challenged the order of Sessions court at Pune, which had rejected it on the ground that sufficient material evidence was available against him.

Atram contended that he was falsely implicated in the case and had nothing to do with the alleged poaching. He also told the court that his name was included by his political opponent with an aim to malign his image in the eyes of the public.

Atram and his associates had allegedly killed a Chinkara near Chaudharwadi in Pune on June 14 while on their way to Khingar near Panchgani, where the former minister owns a farm house. The minister had dodged forest officers, waiting to arrest him, after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Pune Sessions court.

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