By Vijay Pinjarkar
NAGPUR: In one of the fastest judgments, the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) K C Mane of Shirala in Sangli district sentenced three poachers from Katni district of Madhya Pradesh to imprisonment for poaching inside Sahyadri Tiger Reserve.
Those convicted include Pindaibai Sarzan Adbasi (27), Sajniya Tanni Adbasi (31), and Sarzan Ramsingh Adbasi (45). Katni is known for tiger poachers belonging to the Bahelia community.
The case pertains to October 3, 2013 when forest officials on routine patrolling caught accused Pindaibai and Sajniya cooking a peafowl inside the Chandoli National Park, which is part of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. Three accused managed to escape.
Range forest officer BV Mane investigated the case and had booked the accused under sections 9, 27, 31, 32 and 35 (6) punishable under Section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972.
Deciding the case in three months, the court said, "As per Article 51A (G) of our constitution, it is the duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures."
"Peafowl is our national bird and accused have hunted it. So a lenient view cannot be taken against culprits who commit offence under the WPA," the court said.
The JMFC sentenced all the three accused for three years imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 each in default to suffer imprisonment for three months. The court also directed to keep the confiscated material and pieces of evidence as three accused Sarsan, Tanni and Bobadi still absconding.