Suo Moto Case in Apex Court relating to Recent Death of the Pregnant Elephant in Kerala

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On June 6, 2020, the National Green Tribunal has registered a Suo Moto case in the Apex Court. It is about the recent death of the pregnant elephant in Kerala. The plea seeks a Court Monitored CBI or a Special Investing Team to investigate the matter.

Brief Facts

Recently a pregnant elephant died in Kerala. It was due to the accidental consumption of a firecracker stuffed pineapple. That which was supposedly for wild boars. Advocate Avadh Bihari Kaushik filed the petition. It claimed this incident as a “horrific, tragic, brutal, cruel and inhuman act of some villagers". It took place near Silent Valley National Park in Mannarkkad district of Kerala”.

Petitioner’s submission

Petitioner argued that this incident is not the first incident of its kind. A similar incident took place in April 2020. Earlier another female elephant had met with a similar fate in Kollam district of Kerala.
 
Petitioner submitted that “these are two incidents brought into the public domain but the menace appears to be deep-rooted. This is a prima facie. It appears to be a well-calculated and organized killing racket to kill the giant animal.”
 
Authorities have failed to prevent such killing of the protected animals despite the laws in place. Moreover, people are reporting similar cases from time to time from various states. Furthermore, Forest Officials have stated that investigation into animal killings is very tough. Often times it is “difficult to collect information also the place of the incident”. A Special Investigation Team consisting of experts is much needed. It should have members from various departments and agencies. A retired judge of the Supreme Court should head the tea,. This team is important to curb the “illegal and brutal killing of elephants”.
 
The plea emphasizes that under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 scheduled-I item no. 12-B shows Indian Elephants as protected wildlife animals. Thus, killing or trade of any of its organs is a punishable offence.

Court’s Observation

The Tribunal headed by Justice K. Ramakrishnan. It is being seen that such instances are becoming more common. The reason could be various aspects due to not following the norms. These norms are under the wildlife protection act. These norms should be followed to protect wildlife from danger.

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