Supreme Court refuses to go easy on poacherBy IANS
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a petition by notorious poacher Sansar Chand seeking quashing of his conviction and jail sentence of five years.
The court said that the central and state governments and their agencies should make all-out efforts to preserve the wildlife in the country and take stringent action against violators of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
“One of the main causes for this depredation of the wildlife is organized poaching which yields enormous profits by export to China and other countries,” said that apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S. Thakur in their judgment
The killing of tigers for traditional Chinese medicine industry has been going on for several decades, the court said.
The judgment said that at one point there were hundreds of thousands of tigers, leopards and other wild animals but today, according to the Wildlife Institute, there were only about 1,400 tigers.
The protection of wildlife was necessary for maintaining the ecological balance in the country, the judgment said.
Speaking for the bench, Justice Katju said that this case revealed how “avaricious and rapacious persons by organized crime destroyed large parts of the wildlife of India and brought many animals (like) tigers, leopards, bison, almost to the brink of extinction, thereby seriously jeopardizing and destroying the ecological chain and ecological balance in our environment”.
Sansar Chand was convicted and awarded a five-year sentence by the trial court. This was upheld by the high court which also dismissed the revision petition against its earlier order confirming the trail court verdict.
“India, at one point of time, had one of the richest and most varied fauna in the world. However, over the past several decades, there has been a rapid decline of Indias wild animals and birds which is a cause of grave concern,” the judgment said.
Thus, the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan and the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh today have no tigers, it said.