Elephant transportation: Gauhati HC directs Chief Wildlife Warden Assam to decide
GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court on June 25 directed the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) Assam to take a decision on whether to transport four juvenile elephants from Tinsukia district to Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
The elephants were supposed to take part in the Annual Rath Yatra festival to be held from July 4 this year.
A Division Bench of Gauhati High Court comprising of Chief Justice (Acting) Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Manish Choudhury has issued the directive that follows a PIL filed by two Assam-based animal rights activists, Nandini Baruah and Urmi Mala Das on June 21.
The Bench disposed the PIL that sought intervention of the High Court in regard to the state government’s decision to transport the four elephants on lease for a period of six months.
In its order, the Bench expressed that it is ill-fit to make any comment as to in what manner the elephants are to be transported.
But, before any such steps are taken, the relevant circumstances have to be taken into consideration in mind as the safety of the elephants is of paramount importance and this aspect has to be considered and be left to the experts.
Bhaskar Dev Konwar, senior advocate, who appeared on the court on behalf of the petitioners, said that there was a Supreme Court order dated 04.05.2016 that directs that the persons who are in possession of the elephants shall not transfer the elephants outside the State nor shall they part with the elephants by way of their transfer in any manner.
File photo of the elephant