Bombay High Court denies relief for tiger poacher

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The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court recently refused to allow three sentences to run concurrently for a man convicted for hunting, killing and selling the skin, nails, teeth and other parts of a tiger in three different cases.

A division Bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Pushpa Ganediwala was hearing a plea filed by Rahul Pardhi, 33, a convict sentenced to three years each of rigorous imprisonment as per the Wild Life Protection Act and Indian Penal Code in three different cases — a total of nine years.

The prosecutor said Mr Pardhi was an active member of a gang which is infamous for hunting tigers in central India and was also a follower of notorious tiger poacher — Sansar Chand. It is because of the persons like the petitioner, the count of tigers is decreasing day-by-day in forest of India, the court said.

The court rejected the petition and said, “He being a professional poacher, a kingpin of wild life trafficking gang, he would require time to contemplate and change himself, if at all. Then, if a habitual and compulsive wild life offender like the petitioner, which is evident from his three convictions, is made to suffer consecutively the sentences subject to of course to limits of law, it sends a message to society that professional poachers are dealt with sternness and professionalism which they deserve so fully. This is the theory of proportionality: as is the crime, so is the punishment,” the court added.

The court said Mr Pardhi does not deserve the court's discretion to be used in his favour and noted, “The charges of hunting, killing and selling of skins, nails, teeth etc. of tiger specified the Act are proved against him. He played a role as kingpin of the racket which is active in wild life trafficking. It can be seen from the record that while in judicial custody, he absconded and the police could bring him back after a period of one year. Although, he has been booked and tried for the above three crimes, one does not know as to how many tigers and other scheduled wild life in reserve forests, he might have hunted and killed. Crime against human body can immediately be noticed and traced out, but crime in the forest area against the wild animals is very difficult to get noticed and detected. Nagpur region is substantially covered by natural forests,” the court remarked.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 4:15:05 AM |

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