Strict directions given to the State of Kerala to ensure that no cruelty is meted out to captive elephants

Supreme Court: Expressing concern over the cruelty meted out to elephants owned by
private persons in the State of Kerala, the Division Bench of Dipak Misra and
R. Banumathi, JJ., in strict terms directed the Chief Wildlife Warden to keep a
count of all captive elephants in the State of Kerala and ensure that the
requisite declarations and certificates under Sections 40 and 42 of the
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 are duly obtained by the owners. The Court
further imposed an obligation upon the State of Kerala to ensure that the various temples in
the State are registered with the District Committee as per the requirements
under Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules,
2012. The temples are also to mention before the District Committee the number
of elephants they will be using during the festivals.

The present case highlighted the need to stop cruelty on
animals. The counsel for the petitioner C.A. Sundaram, stated that several
private owners have not declared and registered their captive elephants. The
contention of the petitioner was vehemently opposed by R. Basant, appearing on
behalf of the State.

Adopting a strict approach, the Court cast a duty on the
State, the District Committee, Management of the temples, and the owners of the
elephants to ensure that no cruelty is meted out to the elephants, failing
which the consequences will be severe including confiscation of the elephants
to the State. [Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre v. Union of India,  decided on 18-08-2015]
Source: Legal news India

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