NAGPUR: After hearing lengthy arguments on bail application of tiger skin trader Naresh Lala, judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) AY Borkar will issue his ruling on Wednesday. The court is also expected to start trial in poaching cases.
Lala (32) was nabbed in Delhi by a joint team of state forest department, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Delhi Police on September 8. He, along with Sarju Bagdi, are alleged to have played a key role in trafficking tiger skins from the region.
Arguing for bail to Lala, his counsel Yogesh Satpute contended he had no role to play in poaching of tigers and he merely acted as a driver for main trader Bagdi. The recovery of cash and material from his possession was in Delhi and not here.
He also argued that like steel trap maker Jiyalal Bawankar and two others Parman and Soberam Sawalkar, residents of Masondi where four tigers were poached in one go in May last, Lala should also be granted bail.
Countering defence arguments, special counsel for forest department Kartik Shukul said Lala was aware of the nitty-gritty of the tiger skin trafficking. He had brought advance of Rs20 lakh to give to Sarju Bagdi to procure tiger skins from here.
Not only this, Lala had also transported various skins and was therefore directly involved in the crime. He was also aware that the skins and bones being transported were that of tigers and still agreed to transport them for monetary gains. If he is released, he would certainly tamper with evidence and alert other players still at large.