Ramsingh Munda, who was arrested by forest officials on June 17 for illegally keeping a bear in his house, was granted bail by a court in Keonjhar town on Monday. Munda's lawyers challenged the forest department's decision to charge Munda under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.
Ashok Das, the lawyer who pleaded for Munda's release on bail, told HT, "Section 9 of the Wildlife Act pertains to hunting, and this man was certainly not hunting any bears. Munda was charged under Section 39 pertaining to trade and commerce of wild animals. He was further charged under Section 42, under which Munda was required to obtain a license from the wildlife authorities to keep an animal at home. But we argued that the bear was not staying at Munda's place. It was coming from the forest, playing with Munda's daughter and again going back".
Munda's advocate also told the court about the condition of Munda's daughter Gulki, who had been left in the lurch after her father's arrest. After hearing the arguments, the court released Munda on bail.