A landmark case and first of a kind in India, the Court of the Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate-II, Alwar, Rajasthan convicted noted wildlife poacher Johru and his associates, Tayyeb, Ramzan,Noora and Jiwan Das in a case related to Tiger Hunting in Sariska Tiger Reserve which happened in 2005 for 7 years imprisonment and Rs.50,000/-
According B.S.Nathawat-ACF Sariska Tiger reserve the hunting took place in Routkhola beat of Akbarpur range of Sariska Tiger reserve. The case was investigated by Range officer, Akbarpur.
Background: One of the leading poachers from Sariska Tiger Reserve area, Johru has a total of 14 wildlife cases pending against him in Sariska alone. Six of these cases concern tiger poaching.
Unlike Sansar Chand and Shabbir Hasan Qureshi who are essentially wildlife traders, Johru is a noted poacher involved in hunting protected wildlife as well as illegal trade. So far he has been convicted in two cases of leopard poaching with his accomplices Ramzan, Taiyab etc. on 13.01.2009 and 23.03.2009 respectively. He was sentenced to subsequent jail terms of
five years in each of these two cases.
Juhru had challenged his convictions before the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench and applied for bail while his Revision Petition was pending adjudication but the High Court refused to grant him bail. He then filed a Petition in Supreme Court of India requesting for bail. ACF B.S.Nathawat was officer-in-charge of the case in Supreme Court.
On the basis of a misleading statement that ‘he had spent four and a
half years in jail out of a total sentence of five years handed out to
him’, he had succeeded in getting bail from Supreme Court on 06.09.2010. However, the Supreme Court recalled its earlier order of
grant of bail, when it was pointed out that Juhru had spent only about
one year and eight months in Jail.
On 18.10.2010, Govt Counsel Prashant Bhagwati had pointed out to the
SC that inspite of recalling of the bail order, authorities in Alwar jail continue to maintain that Juhru is out on bail.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court had summoned the Superintendent, Alwar Jail to appear in person before the Court regarding the matter.
On October 22,2010 Supreme Court during the hearing of this case
issued directions to Registrar of Supreme Court to enquire as to why
the order of recalling of bail of Johru was not communicated to the concerned authorities.
The Supreme Court had also directed authorities to put Johru under arrest,
according to BS Nathawat, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Sariska Tiger Reserve. Later in December,2010 Johru was apprehended from his hideout by a joint team of Rajasthan Police and Forest staff led by the Addl. S.P of Alwar. Wildlife Trust of India assisted the Sariska Tiger Reserve authorities
in this case.It is likely that Johru and his associates will appeal to higher courts for relief. Wildlife Trust of India will watch and intervene in the higher Courts of law.