Bail for poacher Sansar in one case

Sansar Chand, alleged poacher and animal smuggler known as "the Veerappan of North India" was on Thursday granted bail by a Delhi court in a 2005 case, in which he is accused of violating the Wildlife Protection Act.

Chand, who is lodged in a Jaipur jail, was granted bail by Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain. He had been arrested in June 2005 by the Delhi Police from the Paharganj area, and the CBI had taken him in custody.

During questioning, Chand had given information regarding the existence of an organised crime syndicate engaged in large-scale operations across wildlife sanctuaries in India. The agency had in 2005 chargesheeted him under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), the first time such charges were levelled against any wildlife "criminal".

Chand was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and one surety of the same amount. He, however, will not be released from jail as several other cases are pending against him in other courts. The ASJ granted him bail after his counsel Pramod Dubey submitted that he has been in jail for over six years while the maximum punishment under the Wildlife Protection Act was seven years.

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