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‘Weak in body’, Tiger seeks bail

Chandigarh, June 13: Mansur Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi has broken his silence in the poaching case, citing old age and a “weak body” to seek anticipatory bail.

In the bail application moved in Punjab and Haryana High Court, the former cricket captain said he is 65 years old and “inflicted with several diseases” and “his body has gone weak”.

There is no possibility of his fleeing the country or refusing to co-operate with the investigating agencies, said the petition moved by Pataudi’s lawyer Anand Chhibbar.

Pataudi, who has not been seen in public since it was disclosed that he was caught in a car carrying the carcass of a black buck, said in the petition that he was ready to present himself whenever he was required.

Pataudi and seven others have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1971. If found guilty, they face a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine of Rs 25,000. None of the accused met a June 10 deadline to appear before police, triggering raids.

Challenging the police claim that a suspect ' who was granted bail today ' had said the former cricket captain had shot the black buck, Pataudi contended in his petition that the post-mortem report showed that the animal died after its neck was cut with a knife.

He has also questioned the legality of the FIR, saying it was not registered on the complaint of a designated authority as laid down in the wildlife protection act. Pataudi also pointed out that the act does not empower the police to investigate the case.

Shashi Singh, another accused, has applied for bail as well. Both applications are likely to be heard tomorrow.

The police said they would continue raids to track down Pataudi.

“Moving a bail application does not mean that they are free from the law,” an officer said.

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