SC seeks response on Sansar's parole plea

The Supreme Court has sought response of Rajasthan government on a parole plea of notorious wildlife trader kingpin Sansar Chand who is serving a five- year jail term for smuggling leopard skins in 2003. The court has also permitted two NGOs to file their intervention application in the case after they submitted that the accused' criminal profile must be examined before granting him parole.A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur granted the state government four weeks time to file its counter affidavit after its counsel Manish Singhvi opposed the convict's plea. Chand, who is undergoing jail-term in a case related to smuggling of claws, skin, teeth and other animal parts in Bhilwara in 2003 filed a special leave petition (SLP) last year in the apex court challenging his conviction. NGOs Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) have also been allowed to file an intervention petition.

Despite the large number of cases against Sansar and his accomplices, he has received only two convictions in first case against him in Delhi in 1974 and in the case in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, in January 2003. Chand, who is presently lodged in an Ajmer prison, has several wildlife cases registered against him including those relating to the disappearance of tigers from Sariska. He has been involved in poaching activities for over three decades.In 2006, under interrogation by the CBI, Chand allegedly admitted to selling 470 tiger skins and 2,130 leopard skins to just four clients from Nepal and Tibet.


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