Guwahati, May 8: A man has been awarded a month’s imprisonment and a fine of Rs 4,000 for illegal felling of trees in a reserve forest of Assam.
Chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup, S.P. Moitra, held the accused, Samar Rabha, guilty under Sections 24 and 25 of the Assam Forest Regulation and ordered him to undergo simple imprisonment for one month under each count.
The copy of the order, passed on May 3, was received by The Telegraph today.
The accused was caught by a team of forest officials led by forester-1 of Loharghat forest range on July 16, 2010 at Dogarbora area under Bordwar Reserve Forest while carrying logs of sal wood in a handcart.
While the forest staff arrested the accused, two of his accomplices fled.
Rabha was formally arrested after he could not produce any paper or permit for carrying the logs. According to the forest department, the accused subsequently confessed to his guilt and the confiscated logs were of sal trees illegally felled in the reserve forest within the jurisdiction of Kamrup district.
The accused was caught at a spot which was about a furlong away from the site where the trees are illegally felled. The forest officials also recovered a hand saw from his possession.
From the testimony of the witnesses and other evidence produced by the prosecution, the court found ample corroboration that the accused, along with others, entered the reserve forest area for causing damage to forestry.
“Secondly, although it is evident from the testimony of the witnesses that they could not apprehend the accused person when he was felling/cutting trees, the testimony of the witnesses makes it clear that he was captured immediately after felling of the trees while the accused person was coming along with two others with the handcart laden with logs,” the order said.
The court found “ample corroboration” that the accused person had also committed the offence under Section 25 of the Assam Forest Regulation by felling/cutting the trees in the reserve forest area.