How can unarmed forest guards enforce law against poachers? Supreme Court

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde sought response from Centre and States on how forest officials can be protected including arming them and providing them with bullet proof jackets.
How can unarmed forest guards enforce law against poachers? Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Friday voiced its concerns over the safety and vulnerability of unarmed forest officials who have to protect vasts tracts of uninhibited lands and also deal with poachers.

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde sought response from Centre and States on how forest officials can be protected including arming them and providing them with bullet proof jackets.

"We think the situation is serious and forest guards would have difficulty in protecting vast tracts of inhibited land. It is difficult to imagine how any law can be enforced by the forest staff who are unarmed against poachers who are likely to be carrying arms," CJI Bobde said.

The Court noted that States of Assam and Maharashtra have taken steps in this regard and sought details of steps taken by other States, particularly where poaching is rampant, to save lives of forest guards.

"We take note of fact that states like Assam and Maharashtra which has armed guards who are forest officers above certain rank. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Amicus Curiae state that they will make a joint submission as to how life of forest Staff can be saved. We accordingly adjourn case till 4 weeks," the Court ordered.

Story to be updated.

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