Tuesday, October 14, 2008

3-yr jail for killing 5 lions


3-yr jail for killing 5 lions

Times of India



First Conviction In A Case Of Lion Killing


Dhari: In a landmark judgment, a court in Dhari village of Amreli district sentenced three persons to jail for electrocuting five lions.


Durlabhji Vadharia, a farm owner in Prempura, where the lions were electrocuted on October 19, 2007, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, while his son Parsottam got one-and-ahalf months' jail term. The third accused, Ravji Hirani, was given a twoand-a-half months' imprisonment for destroying evidence. Another accused, Bhala Parmar, was acquitted in the case.


Terming it as a historic verdict, chief conservator of forest Bharat Pathak said, "This is the first conviction in a case of lion killing. There have been few convictions in the past in poaching and killing of other protected animals. This judgment will send a stern message to miscreants." Judicial magistrate IL Pathan found the three persons guilty under various Sections of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Vadharia.


Three lionesses and two cubs were electrocuted by a barbed wire and their carcasses were found buried in Vadharia's field. He had dug a three-feet deep and 10-feet wide pit and put the carcasses in it. To cover up this act, he put fertiliser in the pit so that the carcasses decomposed faster.


Forensic experts found marks of electrocution on three carcasses.


Vadharia had confessed before the investigating officer that the animals were killed and he had connected the barbed fencing to an electricity source to protect his cotton crop from stray animals. All the body parts and claws were intact which ruled out poaching intent.

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