Bombay HC directs Atram to surrender on August 28

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Mumbai, Aug 22 (UNI) Bombay High Court today directed former Maharashtra minister for transport and tribal development Dharmarao Atram to surrender before the forest department office at Pune on August 28 in the chinkara poaching case.

Earlier, Atram's advocate informed Justice V K Tahilramani that the former minister wants to withdraw the application and sought time for surrender before the investigating agency.

Rejecting Atram's petition challenging the order of sessions court Pune, Justice Tahilramani granted time and directed him to surrender before the Forest Department.

Atram had contended in his petition 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 opponents with an aim to malign his image in the eyes of public.

It may recalled that Forest Department had summoned him to appear before the Forest Department Committee on August 11, for recording his statement in the case. However, he did not turn up.

Thereafter, he had moved Anticipatory Bail Application in Pune sessions court, which was rejected.

Atram had resigned from the ministry after his name figured in the chinkara killing near Chaudharwadi in Pune on June 14, following recovery of bones and partially burnt hair of the animal from his farm house at Panchgani.

Six people, apart from Atram's close associate Mahesh Birmane have been arrested under section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act.

The department had issued summons to the former minister on the basis of statements of 32 people, who were interrogated so far in the case.

UNI ST-AAA RN SP RK1538

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