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Illegal Felling Of Rosewood Trees: Kerala High Court Denies Bail To Prime Accused

Hannah M Varghese
28 Sep 2021 7:45 AM GMT
Illegal Felling Of Rosewood Trees: Kerala High Court Denies Bail To Prime Accused
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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday declined to grant bail to the prime accused in a massive illegal tree felling and rosewood smuggling case that shook the State earlier this year.Justice Shircy V. dismissed their bail pleas apprehending that if released, they could potentially tamper with the evidence. The petitioners are a trio of entrepreneur brothers who have branches of various...

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday declined to grant bail to the prime accused in a massive illegal tree felling and rosewood smuggling case that shook the State earlier this year.

Justice Shircy V. dismissed their bail pleas apprehending that if released, they could potentially tamper with the evidence. 

The petitioners are a trio of entrepreneur brothers who have branches of various businesses across the State and abroad.

They were accused of felling centuries-old rosewood trees allegedly from a reserved forest in Wayanad. They have been charged for cutting down and transporting 54 logs of rosewood from the forest without a valid permit.

The prosecution in the criminal case has accused the applicants of cutting and removing trees valued at Rs. 8 crores without the consent or knowledge of the Revenue Department, thereby causing a huge loss to the Government.

In the bail application, the accused had contended that no prior permission of any government authority was required for cutting or removing rosewood trees from one's own property.

They have also produced a Government Order dated 24th October 2020 certified by the Village Officer to support this argument.

The applicants had submitted before the Court that they were framed in the matter intentionally with ulterior motives. 

The brothers had previously preferred a bail plea before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, but it was dismissed on 2nd August.

Case Title: Anto Augustine & Ors. v. State of Kerala

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