An accused charged with offence under Wild Life Protection Act can be granted anticipatory bail if he has no criminal antecedents against him : High Court of Kerala

It is not necessary to held petitioner for custodial investigation if he has no criminal antecedents, he can be granted anticipatory bail on certain conditions that he will not interfere in the investigation and same was upheld by High Court of Kerala through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE GOPINATH in the case of ABDUL MUHAMMAD P. vs. STATE OF KERALA (BAIL APPL. NO. 8877 OF 2021) on 22nd March, 2022.

Facts of the case are that allegation against the petitioner is that 5.1 Kilograms of Ambergris which is a prohibited item under the Wild Life (Protection) Act was recovered from the possession of accused Nos. 1 & 2. Based on the information received from accused Nos. 1 & 2 the petitioner was also arrayed as 3rd accused in the matter.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that petitioner is absolutely innocent in the matter and he has been falsely implicated. And the allegations against the petitioner are entirely based on the statements given by accused Nos.1 & 2 which is not sustainable in law. It is submitted that at any rate the custodial interrogation of the petitioner is not necessary in the matter as the petitioner has no criminal antecedents.

Learned Public Prosecutor submitted that the statements given by accused persons to Forest officers are not hit by the provisions of the Evidence Act and are admissible in evidence.  Going by the B.A. No.8877/2021 -3- information given by accused Nos.1 & 2 in the case the petitioner was clearly involved in illegal transportation of the prohibited items under the Wild Life (Protection Act). It is submitted that the petitioner is to be interrogated and is not entitled to anticipatory bail.

The Court held that petitioner can be granted anticipatory bail considering the fact that no criminal antecedents are reported against the petitioner subjected to some conditions like – Petitioner shall execute a bond for a sum of Rs.50,000/- with two solvent sureties each for the like sum to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional Court and he shall report before the Investigating officer whenever called upon to do so.

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Judgment reviewed by – Amit Singh

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