The Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal, Chennai on Friday took suo moto cognizance of death of pregnant elephant in Kerala which has agitated the minds of the people all over the nation and as well as became viral in the social media.
The above case has been taken Suo Motu by the Tribunal on the basis of the News item published in The New Indian Express dated 03.06.2020 under the caption “Kerala elephant tragedy: Another Jumbo suspected to have been killed in similar fashion”. The report says that a pregnant wild elephant in Silent Valley Forest had fallen victim to an act of human act of using explosive substance kept in a Pineapple which was consumed inadvertently by the wild elephant and which resulted in the death of the pregnant wild elephant and the fetus was also damaged on account of the same and the young one died without seeing the light of the day.
The bench comprising of Justice K. Ramakrishnan & Saibal Dasgupta, said that the instant suo moto case been registered for the purpose of taking an effort to avoid such things in future and also for providing some long term strategy to minimize man-animal conflict in wild life area or fringe village adjoining the forest area.
The NGT has appointed a joint committee comprising of a Senior officer not below the rank of Chief Conservator of Forest deputed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife, Chief Wild Life Warden, Kerala, a Senior officer from Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Southern Zone, Wild Life Warden of Silent Valley Division and Divisional Forest Officer of Mannarkkad and Punalur and the District Collector, Palakad to go into the question and submit a factual and action taken report including the long term management plan to avoid such recurrences in future.
The NGT has also directed the aforesaid committee to submit a report in one month time on any scheme of Government to avoid such tragedies and what is the stage of the implementation and how effectively it is being done and whether any further improvement will have to be made in the scheme. The tribunal has also sought suggestions and recommendations, so that the Tribunal can give certain directions to the Government to implement the same in its letter and spirit to avoid such things in future.
The NGT has listed the case for further hearing on 10th July, 2020.
-India Legal Bureau