NAGPUR: Principal district and sessions judge SD Mohod on Tuesday set aside a lower court order to directly grant magisterial custody to poaching case accused from Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary under Pench Tiger Reserve.
Jai, a full-grown male tiger, had killed a sambar near Ranbodi village inside the sanctuary on February 14. Kuhi RFO LA Aware had arrested four villagers Parmeshwar Meshram, Karu Mandhre, Dhanraj Rane and Sahdev Shende. All had confessed to lift the kill and consume its meat.
However, when the accused were produced before judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) VL Bhosale, she rejected forest department application to grant forest custody (FCR) to the accused on the ground that it did not amount to any offence. Whereas Section 49B of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 prohibits cooking or serving meat derived from any scheduled animals.
Forest officials challenged the Umred court decision in the higher court. Hearing the matter on Tuesday, principal district and sessions judge cancelled the bail granted by the Umred court and sent all the accused to forest custody (FCR). Special counsel Kartik Shukul appeared for the Pench Tiger Reserve.