Decided on February 10,2021

Darcharam Reang And Ors. Appellant


S.G.Chattopadhyay,J. - (1.) The petitioners have challenged the judgment dated 15.11.2017 delivered by the Sessions Judge, North Tripura, Dharmanagar in Criminal Appeal No. 05 of 2017 affirming the judgment and order of conviction and sentence dated 07.08.2017 under Section 26 (e) and (f) of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Forest Act') delivered by the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Kanchanpur, North Tripura in Case No.CR(FA) 01 of 2016.
(2.) The facts of the case, in brief, are as follows: Sri Famkima Darlong (PW-1), Forester, submitted offence report No.05/FPU-16/Kanchanpur dated 27.09.2016 in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate at kanchanpur on 28.09.2016 alleging, inter alia, that while he was patrolling in the area called Brupara in Kanchanpur along with his accompanying forest staff on 12.09.2016 at around 4 PM, he saw that a large number of Teak trees in the teak plantation of Uricherra under Tripura JICA project were girdled by axe above the ground level. The forest patrolling party led by informant came across 50 of such girdled teak trees in the area, a list of which was prepared by them containing the description of the trees. None of the offenders could be spotted. Sources were engaged to trace them out. On 26.09.2016 at about 8 'O' Clock in the morning, informant (PW-1) received a telephonic information from the President of Uricherra Joint Forest Management Committee (JMFC) namely, Sri Uttam Kr. Reang (PW- 5) who was in charge of the management of the teak plantation. He informed the informant (PW-1) that the petitioners along with one Kirit Ch. Reang were engaged in girdling the standing teak trees at Uricherra. The informant immediately arrived at the spot along with his accompanying staff and spotted the three accused including the two petitioners committing the offence but before they were caught by the forest patrolling party, they started running. The members of the patrolling party also ran behind them but all of them escaped through the jungle. While leaving, they left behind one axe. The axe was seized by the patrolling party vide seizure list dated 26.09.2016 (Exbt.1). It has been alleged that the intention of the offenders was to clear the forest by removing the teak trees for occupying the forest land for the purpose of dwelling. Allegedly by their act, they caused huge loss to the State Government and committed offence punishable under Section 26(e) and (f) of the Forest Act.
(3.) The Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Kanchanpur received the offence report and vide his order dated 03.10.2016 in case No. CR(F/A) 01/2016 took cognizance of offence punishable under Sections 26(e) and (f) of the Forest Act.;

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