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Apex Court rejects Sansar Chand’s plea

 

October 20, 2010

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India this morning upheld the judgment of subordinate courts in Rajasthan on the conviction of notorious wildlife trader Sansar Chand in a case pertaining to the seizure of leopard parts in 2003.
 
Two leopard skins were seized by the Railway Police on January 5, 2003, at Bhilwara near Ajmer, and Sansar’s accomplice Balwan was apprehended. Following Balwan’s interrogation, several leopard claws and bones were also recovered.

Based on Balwan’s confessions and the seizures, Sansar was held guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment by the Court of Ravi Sharma, Chief Judicial Magistrate (Railway), Ajmer on April 29, 2004. Challenges against this judgment were rejected by Courts in Rajasthan, in which advocate Dr Mahendra Singh Kachhwa had assisted the prosecution on behalf of Wildlife Trust of India.
 
In 2009, Sansar eventually approached the Supreme Court through a Special Leave Petition and a joint intervention application was filed by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).

"The Supreme Court has the power to nullify any judgment, decree or order passed by any lower courts across India in case it feels that it is not justified, in a Special Leave Petition under Act 136 of the Constitution of India," said Saurabh Sharma, Wildlife Trust of India lawyer. "We are pleased with the way the Supreme Court has dealt with the matter. It is a positive step towards perceiving and treating wildlife crime with the seriousness it deserves, and hopefully other courts will follow this example," added Avinash Basker, Head of WPSI's Legal Programme.
 
“Sansar is already serving his sentences and has been denied bail throughout in a MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act) case pending against him since 2005. He still has a year and half jail term left from the sentences that have been handed out to him, including this one. These convictions will help strengthen the MCOCA case,” Sharma added.

This case is among the four in which Sansar Chand has been convicted till date. His earliest conviction for illegal wildlife trade dates back to 1974.




 

 

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