By Vijay Pinjarkar
High drama was witnessed on Monday in the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) R B Raja when Nirafal Chouhan, one of the accused in tiger poaching case, fainted in the courtroom when he and two others were produced after their forest custody remand (FCR) expired.
Even as special counsel for forest department Kartik Shukul argued for extension of FCR on the grounds that all three during interrogation in the last three days had confessed to killing one more tiger and two leopards in Masondi in East Melghat.
The accused, in their confession statements, said that although the steel traps were laid to net a tiger, a sloth bear and two leopards too died after getting entangled in them. Offence has already been registered against all the accused in case of a bear and a tiger.
Shukul argued that in view of fresh revelations, FCR of Lupustan and Srival was needed for a spot panchnama and verification in Masondi. He did not push for FCR of Nirafal, who fainted in the courtroom and was later shifted to hospital on JMFC's direction. Counsel for accused P S Sontakke was not present.
Prior to being produced in court, Nirafal was fine. As soon as he entered the courtroom, he threw tantrums by falling down and lying as if unconscious. Seeing his condition, his son Surival started crying loudly followed by another accused Lupustan.
JMFC Raja then sought a medical report from investigating officer (IO) H B Virsen. He produced papers of medical check-up of the accused done at 12 noon. The papers showed they were doing well. More....