Court reduces 3-year jail term to 17 days

A three-year jail term given to a snake charmer for illegally possessing an Indian cobra has been reduced by a Delhi court to 17 days, a period already served by him in the trial.The snake had bitten a man while the accused, Dhan Pal Nath, was trying to show some tricks.

Additional sessions judge Narinder Kumar gave the ruling on Uttar Pradesh native Nath’s appeal against the trial court’s order sentencing him to three years in jail for keeping the cobra without a licence.

The judge reduced Nath’s sentence, saying he has no criminal history and he was no longer a snake charmer after the case was filed against him.

“It has not been disputed by the wildlife inspector that the accused is not a previous convict, and that after registration of this case, he did not indulge in any such activity,” said the judge.  “Nath was in custody for 17 days during investigation.

 This court finds it to be a fit case to sentence Nath for the period already undergone,” the judge said.

The prosecution said Nath was arrested in October 2008 from Shahdara in north-east Delhi for carrying a cobra for performing snake charming tricks and soliciting money from people.

He had also visited the house of complainant Naresh Kumar, demanding money for performing snake charming tricks, when the Cobra bit Naresh’s finger, police said. The prosecution had said Naresh was rushed to a hospital and was later arrested. Nath denied the allegations, saying he had been implicated.

Cops asked to apologise

A Delhi police official has been asked by a court here to apologise to a magistrate with an undertaking to be careful in discharging his duties in future.

Additional sessions judge Ramesh Kumar gave the order, waiving a fine of Rs 10,000 imposed on sub-inspector Bal Kishan in June this year by the magisterial court, which had ordered deduction of the sum from his salary for his failure to execute a non-bailable warrant in a case lodged Mukherjee Nagar police station in 2002 under the Arms Act.

On the SI’s appeal, the sessions court modified the order considering that the SI had misplaced the NBW and his failure to execute it was ‘not deliberate.’

“Kishan is directed to be careful in future regarding the processes issued by courts. Since NBW was misplaced by him, the revisionist is directed to furnish an apology before the trial court with an ‘undertaking’ that he shall be careful in future regarding the processes received by him for the purpose of execution,” the ASJ said.

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