Wild elephants intruding human settlements in Palakkad: Kerala High Court directs state to file action taken report within 2 weeks

The Kerala High Court has directed the state government to file a report regarding the action proposed to be taken to prevent such episodes in the future, while taking note of a recent intrusion by a herd of wild elephants into human settlements in the Palakkad district.

A Division Bench of Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice P. Gopinath passed this order, while hearing a suo moto PIL in the wake of the brutal killing of a dog named Bruno earlier this year.

Asok M. Cherian, Additional Advocate General, submitted that the State Animal Welfare Board has already commenced functioning and the website of the said Board has become operational and ready for access by the citizenry.

It is pointed out, however, that the Animal Welfare Board of India has yet to communicate its nominees to the Board and on receiving information from them, those nominees will also be inducted into the Board, the court noted.

The Court while taking note of the above, directed the Animal Welfare Board of India to immediately nominate two members to the State Animal Welfare Board. The nomination shall be effected within two weeks from today.

The Court further noted that,

“With regard to the infrastructural deficiencies noticed in Brahmapuram facility of Kochi Municipal Corporation, Counsel K. Janardhana Shenoy, appearing on behalf of the Corporation, submitted that immediate repair works to the building, the operation theatre, kennels, electrical installations, air conditioning equipment, water tank, washing machine and the diesel generating set will be undertaken on urgent basis, so as to complete the same positively by October 8.

It is further undertaken that by the said date the approach road to the said facility will also be made motorable. The said undertakings are in response to the infrastructural deficiencies pointed out by the Amici Curiae in their 3rd report dated September 20, 2021.

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The Kochi Municipal Corporation also undertakes to immediately commence the licensing procedure for pet dogs within the limits of the Kochi Municipal Corporation.

We have taken on record the memo filed by the Additional Public Prosecutor, showing the status of investigation before the Perumbavoor Police Station in connection with the allegation that six bullocks were being carried on a pick-up truck.

Similarly, a memo has also been filed reporting the status of Crime  registered at the Aluva West Police Station in connection with the incident wherein a lady tried to burn a street dog and its five puppies. The said memo is also taken on record.

“Additional Advocate General Asok M. Cherian undertakes to make available a report before the Court within two weeks from today as regards the incident brought to our notice by the Amici Curiae in their Report dated September 23, 2021 regarding the incursion of a herd of wild elephants into areas in the vicinity of human settlements in Palakkad. The report to be filed shall indicate the steps that are proposed to be taken by the State and its agencies for preventing such incidents in future,”

-noted the Court.

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The Standing Counsel for the Thrikkakkara Municipality undertakes to file an affidavit in response to the additional affidavit dated September 24, 2021 filed by the additional 10th respondent/ Daya Animal Welfare Organisation.

A report on the issues highlighted shall be prepared by the Nodal Officer of the Thrikkakkara Municipality, Abdul Sathar and shall be incorporated in the affidavit to be filed by the Municipality before this Court by the next date of posting.

In the affidavit, the Municipality shall also indicate the steps taken by them to put in place the necessary infrastructure for carrying out the Animal Birth Control Programmes for animals within the limits of the Thrikkakkara Municipality.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on October 01, 2021.
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