GUWAHATI, April 25 - The Gauhati High Court, in two separate cases, has rejected the bail petitions of eight wildlife smugglers and poachers.
Of these, six are alleged rhino poachers and two were found, carrying the endangered Chinese pangolin in a vehicle, by the Director of Revenue Intelligence recently.
In the case related to the Chinese pangolin, the accused including Triken Rajbangshi and Tapan Barman were caught red-handed on February 2, 2019 while they were carrying the scaly ant eater, which is a Schedule 1(5)-A animal.
While advocate J Kalita, the counsel for the accused, prayed for their release on bail citing the length of their detention, advocate BK Mahajan (appeared in both the cases in question) countered the arguments submitting that their detention is necessary keeping in view that six other accused are still absconding and that their release on bail might weaken the case.
The court on perusal of various confessional statements made by the accused under Section 50(8) of the Wildlife Protection Act, and the accused having confessed commission of the alleged offence, rejected the bail petition.
“The investigation made so far reveals that the accused are part of an organised poaching group that captures and sells animals for lucrative amounts,” the court ruled.