Priest, nun get bail in chick-killing case

The forest department had accused the duo of violating the wildlife act.


Ucan News : Posted on August 30, 2012, 8:44 AM




The pruned tree

By Jessy Joseph
New Delhi: 

A Catholic priest and a nun, who have been jailed for killing crane chicks, Wednesday received bail from the High Court of Uttarakhand, a northern Indian state.

Since the two had acted on a good intention, the lower court should have resolved the matter without bringing it up to the High Court, the judge said while granting bail to Fr. Simon D’Cunha and Sr. Deena.

The police arrested them on August 8 for killing more than 250 crane chicks while trimming a tree a school compound.

The priest is the manager of Prabhat Tara Junior School in Pachuakhera, a town in Uttarakhand. Sr. Deena, a member of Queens of the Apostles congregation, is the principal.

Fr. D’Cunha, a priest of Bareilly diocese, got the tree pruned because bird droppings from its branches were contaminating the school’s water tank.

However, the forest department accused them of violating the wildlife act.

Fr Pius D’Souza, diocesan chancellor and secretary to education who was present in the court for the bail hearing, said, “We trust in the justice system of our country.”

He told that the diocese expected the two to be released from the jail today.

Father D’Souza said the High Court also noted that the case was not criminal since the priest and the nun had not intentionally killed the chicks. “The safety of the students is more important. Birds contaminating the water is a serious threat to the students,” the priest quoted the judge as saying.

The judge described as regrettable to punish the nun, who is 57 and sick.

Sr. Deena had to be admitted in a hospital after she fell in the jail.

The two spent 22 days in a sub jail in Haldwani, another town in the state.

Earlier on August 17, the district court had denied bail to them on the ground that their act was “inhuman and anti-environmental” and done deliberately to kill the chicks.

Bishop Anthony Fernandes of Bareilly welcome the bail and said, “Justice is done and we are very happy and relieved.”


Crane Chicks , Fr. Simon D’Cunha , Sr. Deena , Uttarakhand , Bail



English: Church at Bareilly

Church at Bareilly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




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