The Supreme Court on Friday was apprised by the Centre that as per a 2018 census,the total strength of tigers is 2967 which is spread over in 53 tiger reserves overall in the country.
A Bench of Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna were told that this number constitutes 70% of the world tiger population and the figures continue to grow.
A plea was been heard in the Court which aimed at relocating human settlements from reserve forests to save the tiger population in the country.
The Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati during the hearing revealed the data and expressed that the plea can now be disposed as a lot of work has already been done in the area. The petitioner wasn’t present for the hearing.
As the petitioner in the case was not available, the court has adjourned the matter so that the petitioner may appear for the next hearing.
The bench has also added that in case the petitioner doesn’t appear, they will appoint an amicus.The next hearing is on March 4.
The bench questioned if the population of tigers is less than 5000 tigers in the world? When told that they were at verge of extinction and now been protected. The Bench posted another question if the same is true for protection of lions too?
Justice Joseph joked and said that nobody asks about human beings! who grow every half a second, Justice Nagarathna added.
The PIL that was filed by Advocate Anupam Tripathi that informed that 41 tigers were killed in 7 months i.e., from January to August 9 in the year 2015, as per the data provided by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The plea pointed out by the petitioner said that these wild cats were killed by the locals residing near the reserve forests either due to man-animal conflict or poaching.
PIL also stated that the tigers are being indiscriminately, barbarically and monstrously killed either by poisoning by the locals or by the authorities, shooting by the Forest Guards, poaching etc. Thus, tigers are being killed each day in the cruellest fashion.