OBSERVING THE “rich contributions” of former Olympian and international trap shooter Gurbir Singh Sandhu, a court on Wednesday released him on probation at district courts, Sector 43, here. He was convicted by Chief Judicial Magistrate Akshdeep Mahajan on May 23 under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act in a case registered in 2006.
Pronouncing the order, the court held, “Considering the rich contributions, he (convict) has made for the country in various sporting events and otherwise, present is a fit case wherein the convict deserves to be released on probation.”
The court released the convict on probation after furnishing probation bonds worth Rs 1 lakh. The court also directed Gurbir to maintain good behaviour and peace for a period of one year from Wednesday. The court said the convict would be under the supervision of the probation officer during this time. The court has also asked Gurbir to pay Rs 20,000 as cost of proceedings.
A 2001 Arjuna awardee, the shooter was facing charges of poaching animals categorised as Schedule I and Schedule II under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The case was registered against the trap shooter in October 2006 after CBI raided his rented flat at Sector 39 and seized wildlife articles of protected animals and some incriminating material.
The CBI had seized a pair of Sambhar horns and 33 wildboar tusks along with four video cassettes, 151 photographs and 12 rolls of negatives (allegedly containing shooting adventures).
The Wildlife Department of Chandigarh Administration had conducted an inquiry following the CBI raid in which it concluded that it was a case of poaching as per the Wildlife Protection Act. The charge sheet in the case was filed by the CBI Delhi which has been investigating the case. On December 2, 2009, CBI charged Gurbir for killing protected and endangered species of wildlife.