| Sansar Chand Still
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
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