Expressing concern over the huge pendency of cases pertaining to the smuggling of red sanders, the Chief Justice of India (CJI), N V Ramana, launched two special courts in the TUDA Complex at Andhra Pradesh’s Bairagipatteda on Thursday, June 9.
As many as 2,348 cases involving red sanders are pending in the state.
“Though the red sanders forests are grown in a natural terrain of 5,300 square kilometres, the trees have faced the onslaught of smugglers in the last decade or so, in view of their demand in the global market. This has resulted in environmental and law and order issues,” the CJI said.
He stated that 30% to 50% of the trees in the Seshachalam Hill had been felled during the last three decades.
The CJI also expressed concerns over culprits going scot-free because of the legal loopholes and systemic deficiencies. He suggested an incremental rise in punishment for habitual offenders.
He added that the current imprisonment being given to the smugglers was not sufficient. He said it should be much stricter to deter them and to also protect the national wealth of the red sanders trees.
On the occasion, High Court Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra said it is everybody's responsibility to protect red sanders in the Seshachalam Hill forest area and stated that the separate court will help in resolving the red sanders smuggling cases at a fast pace.