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Pataudi moves HC, says he is being implicated
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 13
Former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi has denied his involvement in the case relating to alleged killing of a black buck and two rabbits in the first week of this month at Jhajjar in Haryana.

Pataudi has also alleged that he is being implicated, though he has not named anybody in this connection. These claims form part of the application moved by him in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for anticipatory bail.

Another accused in the same case, Mr Shashi Singh, has filed a similar application. Both applications have been moved through advocate Anand Chhibar.

In his application, Pataudi has stated that he is 65 years old and has various ailments. Saying that there is no possibility of his fleeing the country or refusing to cooperate with the investigating agencies, Pataudi has sought pre-arrest bail. He has also assured the court that he would join investigation wherever and whenever the police seeks his presence.

Pataudi and seven others, including Mr Shashi Singh, were booked under the Wildlife Protection Act on June 5. According to the FIR, registered on the complaint of Head Constable Asha Ram, Pataudi and his accomplices were allegedly caught with the carcasses of the animals on June 3. They were let off after some questioning.

Later, following pressure from wildlife activists and villagers, an FIR was registered against them under Sections 51 and 39 (9) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1971. The accused were given time till June 10 to present themselves before Jhajjar police and assist in the investigation.

However, in his application, Pataudi has said the FIR was not registered on the complaint of a designated authority as enumerated under the Wildlife Protection Act. He has also asserted that the prosecution launched by the police in the matter was against the law and hence illegal. He has said that the Act does not empower the police to investigate the matter.

The other applicant, Mr Shashi Singh, has stated that no purpose would be achieved by arresting him as no recoveries are to be made. He has also challenged the order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Jhajjar, dismissing his plea for anticipatory bail on June 9.

The Jhajjar court had rejected the bail on grounds of jurisdiction. He was asked to approach the designated environment court at Faridabad.

Today, while Pataudiís application did not come up for hearing, the application of Mr Shashi Singh was taken up by one of the vacation Judges. However, Mr Justice M.M. Kumar referred the matter to another Bench. Both applications are likely to be taken up for hearing tomorrow.
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