COIMBATORE: A total of 115 wildlife offence cases including stealing of tusks and sandalwood smuggling is pending within the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR). This came to light during an interaction between officials of ATR and legal officers on Wednesday. Sources said the teams explored ways to fast track the cases.
Field Director S Ramasubramanian said the cases are in various stages — filing of charge sheet and Form A, issuing of non-bailable warrant against the accused and producing of accused in court. "We have decided to close a few cases by imposing a penalty on the accused. Also, in a case where four accused are involved, two are arrested and the rest are on the run. Legal officers suggested completing the case by prosecuting those arrested."
Ramasubramanian added, "Biodiversity management committee, state biodiversity authority and national biodiversity authority are the three agencies taking care of the biodiversity wealth of our country. If a person or company has been found exporting medicinal plants, it will lead to imprisonment of up to five years. We can also file case against them under Biodiversity Act and Forest Protection Act."