Six years’ imprisonment and 50,000 rupees fine for Sansar Chand
New Delhi: Setting an unprecedented milestone in the history of wildlife crime cases in India, the notorious wildlife trader Sansar Chand was today sentenced to six years’ imprisonment – the maximum prison term mandated by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act when Sansar was caught red-handed with a leopard skin in 1995.
Apprehended by a Delhi Police team from Sadar Bazar on July 17, 1995, Sansar Chand was also fined 50,000 rupees by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Special Acts) Dig Vinay Singh announcing the sentence at the Indian capital.
“We are absolutely thrilled about this development. This is the first instance that any individual has been awarded maximum sentence for wildlife crime in India. Although Indian wildlife laws are considered among the best in the region, very often they are not used to their full potential. This case has marked a beginning, and hopefully, will serve as a strong deterrant to wildlife crimes,” said Ashok Kumar, Vice-chairman, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).
With the complaint filed by wildlife inspector VB Dasan, the case was scrupulously followed-up by the office of DM Shukla, Chief Wildlife Warden, Delhi. The prosecution was led by Atiq Ahmed, Prosecutor, Delhi Government, assisted by Saurabh Sharma, WTI lawyer.
“While passing the sentence, the court said that such instances need to be dealt with iron hands. Sansar Chand can now appeal to the sessions court, challenging the judgment. We will continue our work to ensure that the judgment is upheld,” said Sharma.