Kerala High Court order to take steps for tiger protection

Court talks tough to forest department following killing of a tiger in Wayanad in 2012

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Friday asked the principal forest officer to strictly enforce the guidelines prescribed by the national tiger conservation Act for the safety of national animals. The court was considering a plea on the killing of a tiger in Wayanad on December 2, 2012.

The court asked the state government and the principal chief conservator of forests to take effective and speedy measures to ensure that the standing operating procedure for dealing with tiger preservation was followed in letter and spirit.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A.M. Shaffique issued the directive while closing a petition filed by Abu Pookode and others seeking a CBI probe into the killing of a tiger under north Wayanad forest division in 2012.

The court also directed the government and the principal CCF to take steps to inform and educate all the forest officers about the SOP so that appropriate measures could be taken for conserving a national animal. The forest officials maintained that they had captured the same tiger and released it in a forest region in November.

Subsequently, 16 domestic animals were killed in the region. Pursuant to a public protest, the animal was recaptured. The forest guard concerned decided to kill the animal after apprehending threat.

Considering the submission, the court rejected the plea for a CBI probe into the death of the tiger.

HC for autonomous powers to Vigilance

Kerala High Court on Friday orally observed that the government should consider giving autonomous powers to the Vigilance so as to conduct independent investigations. At present, the Vigilance is under the home department.

Justice Alexander Tho-mas said that the Vigilance should also have powers like the CBI and that it should act independently. No investigation should be carried out keeping a particular person as a suspect. The court was considering a petition filed by Isaac Varghese , president of All-Kerala Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Protection Council, seeking a court-monitored probe into the bar bribery. According to the petitioner, certain bar owners had pointed fingers at a minister who was given bribe after he had sought it.

Can slap KAAPA for 7 crimes in 3 years

Kerala High Court on Friday held that for initiating proceedings under the Kerala Anti-social Activ-ities Prevention Act, section 107 of Cr PC alone was required and that the invo-lvement in another crime was not necessary. If three criminal cases were cha-rged against a person in seven years, the authority can slap KAPPA. Section 107 of CrPc stipulates that the district collector can impose a security on an accused for keeping the peace in other cases.

A division bench comprising Justices K.T. Sankaran and Anu Shivaraman passed the order on a plea filed by Thejas and K. Jyothish of Dharmadam against whom KAPPA was slapped.

The court observed that there should not be a condition that the person concerned should have committed another crime after the initiation of proceedings under section 107 of CrPc against him. The KAAPA does not contain such a condition. The CrPc also does not provide such a condition in the matter.

The existence of an order under section 107 of CrpC would be relevant only in the realm of subjective satisfaction of the authority concerned.

If a particular Act is constituted for anti-social activity and if any of the conditions prescribed in the sections of KAAPA applied in a particular case, the power conferred on the authority under the KAAPA cannot be further restricted with a condition that the person should have involved in another crime, the court said.

No anticipatory bail for Uthuppu Varghese

Kerala High Court on Friday refused to grant anticipatory bail to Uthuppu Varghese, MD of Al Zarafa Travel and Manpower Consultancy, Ko-chi, the main accused in the nursing recruitment scam.

Justice K. Abraham Mat-hew rejected the request to direct the investigating officer not to arrest him.

The CBI submitted that Varghese had cheated 1,200 candidates and amassed Rs 100 crore. The agency was still collecting money and documents. Hence, the arrest and interrogation of the accused, who was still at large, was highly necessary.

The agent was supposed to recover from an emigrant an amount equivalent to the wages for 45 days only in respect of services rendered. However, the agency collected Rs 19.5 lakh and in the registers it was marked as Rs 19,500.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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