Sariska Poacher Finally Convicted, Gets Maximum Imprisonment

Alwar, June 20, 2011: In a landmark judgement, the Court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate – II, Alwar, Rajasthan convicted noted wildlife poacher Juhru and his associates, Tayyeb, Ramzan, Noora and Jiwan Das, sentencing them to a maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine of Rs 50,000, in a case related to tiger hunting in the Sariska Tiger Reserve in 2005.

According BS Nathawat, ACF Sariska Tiger Reserve, the hunting took place in Routkhola beat of Akbarpur range, Sariska Tiger Reserve. The case was investigated by Range officer, Akbarpur. “The maximum imprisonment for wildlife crime till 2002 was six years,” explains Ashok Kumar, Vice Chairman, Wildlife Trust of India. “It was increased to seven years after an amendment, and this is the first time that a Court is awarding this in India. Juhru is one of the notorious poachers of the Sariska Tiger Reserve area, and has a total of 14 wildlife cases pending against him in Sariska alone. Six of these cases concern tiger poaching. This sentence shall hopefully help the other cases as well.”

Unlike Sansar Chand and Shabbir Hasan Qureshi who are essentially wildlife traders, Juhru is a poacher involved in hunting protected wildlife as well as illegal trade. So far he has been convicted in two cases of leopard poaching with his accomplices in January and March 2009. He was sentenced to subsequent jail terms of five years in each of these two cases.

Juhru had challenged his convictions before the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench and applied for bail while his Revision Petition was pending adjudication but the High Court refused to grant him bail. He then filed a Petition in Supreme Court of India requesting for bail.

On the basis of a misleading statement that ‘he had spent four and a half years in jail out of a total sentence of five years handed out to him’, he had succeeded in getting bail from Supreme Court in September 2010. However, the Supreme Court recalled its earlier order of grant of bail, when it was pointed out that Juhru had spent only about one year and eight months in Jail.

Later in December 2010 Juhru was apprehended from his hideout by a joint team of Rajasthan Police and Forest staff led by the Additional Superintendent of Police of Alwar.

Wildlife Trust of India assisted the Sariska Tiger Reserve authorities in this case. It is likely that Juhru and his associates will appeal to higher courts for relief. Wildlife Trust of India will watch and intervene in the higher Courts of law.

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