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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Fugitive cricket star denied bail
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
Mr Pataudi is the youngest man to have captained India's cricket team
Former India cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi - currently on the run - has been refused bail in connection with a poaching case.

The cricketer - who has evaded arrest for more than a week - formally sought bail through his lawyers in a court in the northern state of Punjab.

The court refusal means that police can now arrest Mr Pataudi and take him into custody if they find him.

Mr Pataudi is widely regarded as one of India's greatest cricketers.

'Greatest' cricketer

He and eight other suspects have been charged with killing a black buck which is an endangered species of antelope.

Killing or poaching the black buck is outlawed under India's wildlife laws.

They are also accused of killing two wild rabbits in Haryana's Jhajjar area earlier this month.

Mr Pataudi's lawyer, Dinesh Mathur argued that his client has not been specifically charged with shooting the black buck and should be granted anticipatory bail.

He argued that the police had no power to register and investigate a case that fell under the wildlife protection law.

The next hearing of the case will be held on 17 June.

Aristocratic cricketer

Mr Pataudi - nicknamed Tiger - comes from an aristocratic background.

He played 46 test matches for India's national team between 1961 and 1975, and became the world's youngest national captain at the age of 21.

He led India to their first ever test match win.

Wildlife campaigners say that while poaching is illegal in India, hunting remains popular.

They say that because police tend to ignore expeditions by the rich, famous or powerful, efforts to conserve protected animals are often hampered.

Mr Pataudi's son, the leading Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, and his fellow star Salman Khan are on trial charged with killing a black buck in 1998. They have denied the charges.

Another suspect, who is believed to have acted as a guide, was arrested by the police last week and granted bail.





SEE ALSO:
Pataudi is charged with poaching
06 Jun 05 |  South Asia


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