Three yrs rigorous imprisonment and fine for electrocuting five lions
Indian Express By Sibte Husain Bukhari
Junagarh, October 14 Five lions were electrocuted on the outskirts of Prempara village on October 19, 2007
The Dhari town Judicial Magistrate (First Class) court has sentenced the prime accused in the electrocution case of five lions, to three years rigorous imprisonment and levied a fine of Rs 30,350.
Two co-accused, have been fined while the time spent by them in judicial custody before they obtained bail, have been considered as their punishment. The fourth accused has been released as no evidence was found against him.
According to the details of the case, five lions were electrocuted on the outskirts of Prempara village near Dhari town on October 19, 2007. The Incident occurred at a stone's throw away from the Gir East headquarters.
In a bid to save his standing crop, prime accused Durlabhji Vadodariya had passed electricity through the wired fencing surrounding his field. A group of five lions came in contact with the live wire fencing and were killed instantly. In a bid to destroy evidence, Vadodariya then buried the carcasses in his fields with the help of his son Purushottam Vadodariya and two others, namely a tractor owner and a tractor driver.
The Forest Department intensified its search when they found that five lions were missing and arrested four people for their involvement in the killing of the big cats.
The four were booked under various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. At that time, in charge, Deputy Conservator of Forest (Gir East) J S Solanki and his team had busted the case and submitted the same in the JMFC court and monitored it till the judgment was delivered on Monday.
Solanki, said: "Yet, they have not received a copy of the judgment. But further action will be decided upon receipt of the same."
According to primary details of the judgment, Purushottam and the tractor driver have been fined Rs 250 and 150 respectively, while the period they passed in jail during their judicial custody have been considered as the punishment period. The tractor driver has been set free. The JMFC court delivered the 150-page verdict within a year of the incident. The trial was on for 11 months.