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Sansar Chand Still in Jail

Thanks to the diligent work of Mr Hemant Priyadarshy, the Superintendent of Police Railways in Ajmer, the notorious wildlife trader, Sansar Chand, is still lounging in jail.

Chand's lawyers had earlier tried to use the tactic that the police had no authority to investigate a wildlife matter. Within 24 hours, WPSI couriered a package to the investigating police officer with a detailed legal opinion from an advocate of the Supreme Court of India on how The Wild Life (Protection) Act did, in fact, allow the police to arrest, detain and search a suspect for a wildlife crime. WPSI also supplied details on every pending case against Chand throughout India, along with a copy of his earlier conviction, and the judgment of the Supreme Court that had allowed the CBI - and therefore by inference any police agency - to investigate wildlife crimes. The papers were placed before the Additional Chief Railway Magistrate, Ajmer, who rejected Sansar's bail application.

The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) is currently assisting the prosecution of Chand in several states, including eight cases in Delhi, where he is has been accused of wildlife crimes. The case in Ajmer involves the seizure of two leopard skins that were seized from a man who claimed that he had been paid Rs. 5,000 by Chand to transport the skins. Chand has also applied for anticipatory bail in another case in Udaipur. The High Court of Rajasthan rejected the application, calling him 'the Veerappan of North India'.

It's bad news all round for Chand. In September this year he filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court of India to appeal the High Court of Rajasthan's judgment. WPSI's lawyers were in court to hear Chand's advocate, Mr. Anil Sehgal, argue that anticipatory bail should be granted since he was ready and willing to cooperate with the investigating authorities. The Honorable Supreme Court stated that they "saw no reason to interfere with the impugned judgment", and dismissed Chand's Petition.

At the same time, the wildlife traders who Sansar procures skins from, are on the run with pressure from the enforcement authorities building up.

A few weeks ago another notorious wildlife trader, Sidhe Singh, died in jail in Chadrapur, Maharashtra. Singh hailed from Katni in Madhya Pradesh and was an accused in several wildlife cases in central and southern India.

 

 

 

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