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No need of formal documentation for a privately owned elephant in need of rescue, adoption: Karnataka HC

ANI | Updated: Jun 14, 2022 19:03 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 14 (ANI): The Karnataka High Court in its order held that there is no need for formal documentation for a privately owned elephant, especially which is in need of rescue or adoption and said that the law does not require any documentation.
"According to us, any document with any nomenclature is sufficient as long as it shows consent and absence of commercial transaction," said Bench headed by Chief Justice of Karnataka.
Court order was passed on June 6, in public interest litigation filed seeking intervention of Court in the matter of transfer of some Elephants from the State of Karnataka to Radha Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust, Gujarat-based trust.
Petitioner also sought direction to the State Government to issue guidelines directing that no person can sell or transfer or translocate Elephants from the State of Karnataka to the Trust. A direction was also sought to Trust to send back the 4 Elephants that were transported to the said Trust and also send back all the Elephants which have been taken by the Trust, back to the respective Forest Department of the States from which these Elephants were obtained.
The court in its order issued various directions to the trust stating that the Elephants that are in the custody and care of the Trust, shall till the end of their respective lives, be continued to be given the same care and facilities as specified in the Counter filed in these proceedings.

In case any more Elephants are relocated to the trust facility by private individuals, organizations, Central or any State Governments or their departments and agencies, the same care and facilities as specified in the Counter filed in these proceedings shall be provided to them for the rest of their respective lives. The trust shall not enter into any commercial transaction referred to in Section 43 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, said the court.
Court further directed that Trust shall before receiving any further Elephants, ensure that the same infrastructure as a present is available and sufficient for the new adoptee Elephants. The trust shall not use its facilities for any commercial purpose.
Petitioner Muraly MS through Advocate Ramesh T. submitted before the court that the animals which are transferred or translocated shall be sterilized. The counsel for the petitioner has argued that there is a strong apprehension that these animals would be put to commercial use and the Trust may misuse these animals by opening a breeding centre.
Appearing for the Trust, Lawyer submitted that our facilities are open to all Elephants. We are a non-profit organization and we do not intend to convert the Camp into any sort of zoo or carry out any commercial activity whatsoever.
It was contended that there is no prohibition or restriction on the Trust/respondent No.3 carrying out the non-profit activity of taking care of the rescued Elephants. It is also contended that respondent No.3 is not involved in any commercial activity with these animals and they have been kept only for rehabilitation and proper care. It was also contended that Trust is not having any breeding centres for these animals. The Trust is only concerned with the care and rehabilitation of Elephants and other animals. (ANI)