No relief for kingpin of racket that killed, sold tiger skin, nails

Observing that crime in forests against the wildlife doesn't get traced easily, the Bombay High Court earlier this week refused to reduce the jail term of a man, convicted for hunting, killing and selling tiger skin, nails etc from tiger reserve in Nagpur.

The HC said the convict, who is a kingpin of the wildlife poaching racket, would need additional time to change himself into a better human being and thus he must remain behind the bars for some more time.

A Bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Pushpa Ganediwala said, "The charges of hunting, killing and selling of skins, nails, teeth etc. of tigers are proved against Rahul Pardhi (convict). He is the kingpin of the racket which is active in wild life trafficking. Although, he has been booked for three crimes, one does not know as to how many tigers and other scheduled wild life in reserve forests, he might have hunted and killed."

"Crime against human body can immediately be noticed and traced out, but crime in the forest area against the wild animals is very difficult to get noticed and detected. Nagpur region is substantially covered by natural forests," the Bench observed.

Pardhi had petitioned the judges seeking to clarify whether the jail terms of three years each awarded to him by three different courts in separate cases, would run concurrently or consecutively. Through his counsel, Pardhi argued that since he is of 33 years age he must be given a chance and the judges must allow the three sentences to run concurrently which would mean that he would have to spend only three years in jail, together, for all three cases.

The judges noted that while in judicial custody Pardhi had absconded and could be re-arrested only a year later that too after Rs 1 lakh award was declared for the public to nab him. "Considering the enormity of the crime, his role and conduct during trial, there is no assurance that after spending lesser time than is required in jail, he would not again join his dangerous profession of poaching," Justice Ganediwala said in her orders, while dismissing his plea.

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