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Compensation awarded for loss of forest wealth

By Shambhu Boro
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TEZPUR, Sept 18 - In another landmark judgement, the Court of Darak Ullah, Additional District & Sessions Judge, Sonitpur, on Saturday directed the handing over of a bank draft amounting to Rs 10,000 to the Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, towards compensation for loss of forest wealth due to an offence committed by a convict. The court further ordered that the money be spent for the cause of wildlife as per Section 33 of the Wildlife (Prevention) Act, 1972.

It needs mention here that on August 10 of the current year, the said court had passed a landmark judgement, the first ever in India by changing the concept of compensation of laws creating history at Tezpur Court by ruling that the term �person� for the purpose of providing compensation U/S 357 (1) and 357 (3) of CrPC, will also include the Government. Additional District Sessions Judge, Sonitpur briefing the media also mentioned that in the Code of Criminal Procedure the provision to award compensation to the �person� was defined as including company, association, body of persons and firms.

The details of the case are as follows: five persons were illegally carrying timber from Kamengmari anti-poaching camp under Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary in Sonitpur district on March 25 in 2011 and one of them namely Lakhiram Tudu, (the other four are still absconding), was convicted and sentenced to simple imprisonment for two months and also to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 (rupees ten thousand) only, for the offence U/S 51 of the Wildlife (P) Act, 1972. The court ordered that the compensation be paid to the Government, for the loss of wildlife, and directed the convicted to pay the same by way of bank draft to be payable to the Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, who is the custodian. The convicted person deposited the compensation by way of a bank draft, which was handed over to the Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, on Saturday.

He added that the judgement will certainly create a new dimension to the law of compensation in the Indian Judicial system as the said concept of compensation will also be applicable in all other laws like the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Prevention of Damages to the Public Properties Act, Prevention of Corruption Act etc., apart from wildlife laws. It will make the people of Assam proud as it comes from a judge of a subordinate court of Assam.

�This concept will pave the way for the Government to get compensation from criminal courts when it faces a loss due to an offence. It will also act as a deterrent from damages to public properties,� he added.

Meanwhile, receiving the compensation in a brief meeting at the Tezpur court, Bikash Brahma, head of the PCCF, Assam, accompanied by NK Basu, Wildlife PCCF, P Siva Kumar, Conservator, Northern Assam, DFO, Sonitpur (West) Debendar Suman, DFO, Wildlife, Sonitpur (Western Assam wildlife division), Range Officer, Jiten Bora and wildlife activist Sourav Barkataki said that it was the first-ever case in India which would boost both law enforcers and the people with the department concerned to work in their field creating an opinion against anti- forest and anti-wildlife acts.

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Compensation awarded for loss of forest wealth

TEZPUR, Sept 18 - In another landmark judgement, the Court of Darak Ullah, Additional District & Sessions Judge, Sonitpur, on Saturday directed the handing over of a bank draft amounting to Rs 10,000 to the Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, towards compensation for loss of forest wealth due to an offence committed by a convict. The court further ordered that the money be spent for the cause of wildlife as per Section 33 of the Wildlife (Prevention) Act, 1972.

It needs mention here that on August 10 of the current year, the said court had passed a landmark judgement, the first ever in India by changing the concept of compensation of laws creating history at Tezpur Court by ruling that the term �person� for the purpose of providing compensation U/S 357 (1) and 357 (3) of CrPC, will also include the Government. Additional District Sessions Judge, Sonitpur briefing the media also mentioned that in the Code of Criminal Procedure the provision to award compensation to the �person� was defined as including company, association, body of persons and firms.

The details of the case are as follows: five persons were illegally carrying timber from Kamengmari anti-poaching camp under Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary in Sonitpur district on March 25 in 2011 and one of them namely Lakhiram Tudu, (the other four are still absconding), was convicted and sentenced to simple imprisonment for two months and also to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 (rupees ten thousand) only, for the offence U/S 51 of the Wildlife (P) Act, 1972. The court ordered that the compensation be paid to the Government, for the loss of wildlife, and directed the convicted to pay the same by way of bank draft to be payable to the Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, who is the custodian. The convicted person deposited the compensation by way of a bank draft, which was handed over to the Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, on Saturday.

He added that the judgement will certainly create a new dimension to the law of compensation in the Indian Judicial system as the said concept of compensation will also be applicable in all other laws like the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Prevention of Damages to the Public Properties Act, Prevention of Corruption Act etc., apart from wildlife laws. It will make the people of Assam proud as it comes from a judge of a subordinate court of Assam.

�This concept will pave the way for the Government to get compensation from criminal courts when it faces a loss due to an offence. It will also act as a deterrent from damages to public properties,� he added.

Meanwhile, receiving the compensation in a brief meeting at the Tezpur court, Bikash Brahma, head of the PCCF, Assam, accompanied by NK Basu, Wildlife PCCF, P Siva Kumar, Conservator, Northern Assam, DFO, Sonitpur (West) Debendar Suman, DFO, Wildlife, Sonitpur (Western Assam wildlife division), Range Officer, Jiten Bora and wildlife activist Sourav Barkataki said that it was the first-ever case in India which would boost both law enforcers and the people with the department concerned to work in their field creating an opinion against anti- forest and anti-wildlife acts.

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