NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court has expanded the scope of a high-powered committee dealing with the transfer and transportation of elephants bred in captivity in the North-East and given it a pan-India mandate
The committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Deepak Verma, will now deal with any approval or grievance regarding the transfer, import into India, or procurement of wild animals by any rehabilitation centre or zoo in the country.
The order by a bench of justices Krishna Murari and Ahsanuddin Amanullah came on an application filed in the context of transporting elephants bred in captivity from Karnataka to Radha Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust in Gujarat.
The trust told the court that the Tripura high court on November 7 constituted a high-powered committee handed by Justice Deepak Verma (retd) while considering a plea on transporting elephants from the North-East to Gujarat.
Giving this committee a pan-India character, the Supreme Court allowed the committee to deal with “all requests for approval, dispute or grievance, concerning transfer or import into India or procurement or welfare of wild animals by any rescue or rehabilitation centre or zoo, by taking assistance and co-operation whenever needed from all departments and authorities across India.”
Extending the jurisdiction of the Committee across the country, the bench said, this would “not only serve the real public interest and would advance the cause of welfare, care and rehabilitation of wild animals, but will also curb the filing of frivolous PILs before different High Courts by busy bees.”
Further, the bench directed all state and central authorities to report seizure of wild animals or abandonment of captive wild animals to the committee.
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