New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notice in a plea seeking action against the practice of encouraging and rewarding the killing of wild animals, declared as “vermin killing” in India.
A Chief Justice of India SA Bobde-led bench of the Supreme Court has decided to tag a plea filed by BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty, seeking action against practice of encouraging & rewarding the killing of wild animals (vermin killing), with the tragic death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala in May.
During the hearing today the CJI was looking at options. He said: “There’s no doubt that we need to preserve our crops. A man eating animal should be killed. There is no doubt about that. We need information about what forest officials have done to tackle this. Suggest what other options are there to scare away animals.”
Addressing Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra, the CJI said: “See if this is happening because the lands which are occupied have been done so as to take over the land of animals.”
Luthra agreed. “Yes, there is encroachment in a way upon their habitats,” he said.
The CJI said: “We are treating this matter with anxiety. What if wild animals destroy farmlands? Whether a wild tiger, or rogue elephant destroying crops, can be killed. But yes, killing 50 nil gais is not justified.”
“There are rubber bullets which can be used. This can be taken up in place of culling,” added the CJI. “You, as a petitioner (to Senior Adv Siddharth Luthra), suggest us measures. Also examine if this is happening on land reserved for animals, inside forests, which has been encroached upon.
Luthra said: “There is encroachment into their living spaces.”
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The CJI said: “We need a solution. No solution lies only in saying don’t kill them. Look at it terms of a solution. We are tagging this matter along with elephant matter of Kerala where the elephant was killed by pineapple stuffed with crackers.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has directed the State of West Bengal to publicise provisions of West Bengal Animal Slaughter Control Act of 1950 that place restrictions on slaughter of animals, in compliance with High Court’s order.
-India Legal Bureau