The accused was remanded in a five-day police custody and produced before the court with a 15-day judicial custody prayer. However, the court rejected the prayer and released him on bail by furnishing a PR bond of Rs 50,000.
Updated 8 Apr 2022, 3:11 pm
The accused person who was remanded in a five-day police custody under the Wildlife Act for allegedly carrying raw meat of hog deer was released on bail by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on Friday, observing that extension of his custody in order to arrest other accused persons may amount to unfairness.
The accused, Moulana Aslam Qasmi, 34, son of Mohd Apik of Komlakhong Mayai Leikai in Imphal West was arrested on suspicion of carrying raw wildlife meat suspected to be of hog deer at Shekmaijin Thongkhong which falls under the jurisdiction of Sadar East Range under Central Forest Division on March 31.
Aslam was arrested for an offence committed under Sections 9, 39,48(A), 50(1)(a)(b)(c) punishable under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 by a team of staffs of Kakching Range and Range-II, Keibul Lamjao National Park.
Raw wildlife meat (suspected to be of deer) of approx 11 kg was found from his possession.
The accused was remanded in five-day police custody and produced before the court with a 15-day judicial custody prayer. However, the court rejected the prayer and released him on bail by furnishing a PR bond of Rs 50,000.
The court stated that the prosecution has been accorded sufficient time for conducting thorough investigation but the progress made in the investigation is not fully satisfactory.
It stated that the prosecution cannot expect any accused to fully cooperate but information needs to be extracted by tactful means. By using common sense, clues need to be unearthed and evidence collected before it fades away, the court observed. Flashing reports in local newspapers may have alerted the other co-accused persons to go into hiding, it stated.
The court further stated that the state Conservator Forest, Central Forest Division, government of Manipur (petitioner) seem to lack manpower and experience in conducting such investigation. “The staff and officers of the department perhaps need training in the matter of investigation,” it stated.
The court further stated that the accused seems to be a mere carrier of the meat from one place to another. Furthermore, the accused has a family and seems to be rooted in society and the possibility of his absconding from the case is minimal, the court added.
He was released on bail under the condition that he shall not threaten, contact or induce any of the prosecution witnesses; he shall make himself available for interrogation by the investigating officer as and when required; he shall not commit any offence in the future; he shall not leave the State of Manipur without prior permission of the court; he shall not temper or threat the witnesses or the complainant.
Meanwhile, one more accused person revealed by the accused Moulana Aslam is still at large.
The SP of Imphal West district has been requested to arrest the person, and it is suspected that few more individuals are involved in the crime and also that such illegal act of killing wild animals inside the National park has been repeated in the recent past.
During the hearing, additional public prosecutor of the state submitted before the court that a letter to SP, Imphal East has also been requested to enquire linkage of other criminals in the illicit trade of Wildlife articles and to provide subscriber detailed report/ call detail report (SDR/CDR) and the information are still awaited.
It is learnt that the co-accused persons as submitted by the additional public prosecutor are habitual offenders but the State Prosecution is still unable to nab them.
First published:8 Apr 2022, 1:37 pm
hog deer meatraw meatWildlife Act
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