Ravi Kumar, V Harish and Varun Kumar, all 19 years of age and studying in a college in Mysore, felt they had hit a jackpot when they stumbled upon an old tiger skin. They decided to sell it and fund their amusements. But luck was not in their favour as they ended up in police lock-up.
The moth-eaten, 25-year-old skin was in the attic of Ravi Kumar’s home. After making a contact with a person who said the skin will be purchased by a ‘customer’ for Rs 4.5 lakh, they took it to Madikeri.
However, a police team led by inspector R Satish Kumar stopped the trio, who were going on two bikes, near Abbey Falls in K Nidugani village on October 11. They found the tiger skin wrapped inside a plastic bag and arrested the boys. They were presented in court which sent them to custody.
According to police, the trio confessed that they went to Madikeri to sell the tiger skin, and since the offence attracted three years imprisonment and Rs 25,000 fine, they were immediately arrested. The police say the boys claimed that the tiger skin was in their house and they intended to sell it for Rs 4.5 lakh.
After their bail applications were rejected by the trial and sessions court, the trio approached High Court on Monday.
Their advocate Shankrappa argued that it was a story set up by the police. “The three are teenage students studying in colleges. Their semester exams are approaching. They were not aware of the tiger skin. It is a make-believe story by the police that they were trying to sell it. The boys were on a trip and thought they were helping someone,” Shankrappa said.
When Justice Subhash B Adi asked how come the boys were not aware what they were carrying, the advocate said, “It was in the bag that someone known to them wanted delivered. They did not check it. The police have not charged the owner of the bag. They just caught hold of the boys.”
Shankarappa also said that the tiger skin was 25 years old and not a new one, but Justice Adi was not impressed. “All other offences can be pardoned. But not this one. What if the skin is old? Are you permitted to carry old skins? There is no difference between old and new tiger skin in the eyes of law,” justice Adi said.
The court has asked for the charge sheet against the three boys to be placed before it on Wednesday. Posted On Tuesday, January 03, 2012 at 06:05:17 AM