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Kerala Elephant Case: SC Issues Notice to Centre, Kerala & others on Plea to Ban Use of Explosives to Ward Off Wild Animals

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap

A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, AS Bopanna & Subhash Reddy, issued notice to the Centre, the State of Kerala and 12 other states impleaded in the petition filed by Advocate on record Vivek Narayan Sharma on behalf of Lawyer Shubham Awasthi which states that the practices are illegal and unconstitutional, and therefore, seeks for the issuance of guidelines for the creation of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to tackle such incidents and fulfilling the vacancies in Forest Forces across the States of the Union. 

Awasthi, in his petition, sought directions to declare the practice of using barbaric means like the use of explosives, etc. to ward off wild animals as unconstitutional, illegal, and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. 

"We issue notice," CJI Bobde said and adjourned the matter for a later date, without giving any date and day to hear the matter. 

The plea, filed through advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma, sought directions to the Centre and state governments for necessary amendments in the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act, 1960 to enhance punishments for cruelty against animals. 

It said that the Central and State Governments should fill the vacancies in forest forces for effective management and for the propagation of the necessary awareness pertaining to the animal-human conflicts. 

The plea also sought the issuance of directions to the Central and State governments to update their forest forces with modern equipment and necessary literature required to fulfil their duties to the absolute best. 

It sought directions to the Union of India to issue guidelines to all the state governments to conduct animal censuses in their respective states to understand the need of the wildlife and take appropriate measures to protect them. 

The plea also sought a direction to the UOI and States to issue guidelines for the tracking of elephants in order to save them from the threat of extinction and cruelty against them. 

This comes after the death of a pregnant elephant in the Palakkad district of Kerala on May 27 gained national attention. The animal had sustained critical injuries in its lower jaw after it ate a pineapple stuffed with crackers.  

Besides other reliefs, the plea sought a direction to Centre and the States to issue guidelines for the tracking of Elephants in order to save them from the threat of extinction and cruelty against them. 

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