New Delhi: A man has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for possessing two leopard skins by a Delhi court, which said such cases need to be dealt with strictly to curb wildlife offences.
The court said, "Some of the rare species have already been wiped out" while "others have reached danger mark predicting total extinction unless expeditious protective measures are adopted".
It also observed that wildlife offences are not coming down despite efforts put in by governments of various nations across the globe.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Wason, while awarding three-year jail term and a fine of Rs 10,000 on Vimal Kishore, observed that Parliament, in bringing a new legislation for protection of wildlife, was inspired by the urge to preserve what little is left of wildlife.
"Rapid decline of India's animal wealth, one of the richest in the world once upon a time, would have caused concern not only to the Zoologists and Ornithologists but to all others who know the consequences of deforestation," the court said.
It allowed Kishore's plea to suspend the sentence and granted him bail for one month to enable him to file appeal against the judgement.
The prosecutor had argued that the 38-year-old man was found in possession of two leopard skins in 2012 and his offence was covered under the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
The man's counsel, however sought a lenient view in sentence, saying he was physically handicapped and he has to support his family including two minor children and was facing trial for past four years.