National Green Tribunal (NGT): A Division Bench of K. Ramakrishnan (Judicial Member) and Saibal Dasgupta (Expert Member), took suo motu cognizance of a news item captioned as “Kerala elephant tragedy: Another Jumbo suspected to have been killed in similar fashion”.
In the report it was alleged that ,
a pregnant wild elephant in Silent Valley Forest had fallen victim to an act of human act of using explosive substance kept in a Pineapple which was consumed inadvertently by the wild elephant and which resulted in the death of the pregnant wild elephant and the fetus was also damaged on account of the same and the young one died.
Another point that was noted from the newspaper itself was that, some action had been taken by the Forest Department and also from Government level including Central Government.
Purpose of registering this case was to avoid such things n future and also for providing some long term strategy to minimize man-animal conflict in wild life area or fringe village adjoining the forest area.
Tribunal thus, issued notice to respondent 1, Since State Government officials entered appearance through standing counsel, direct notice was dispensed to them.
Concluding the Order, Tribunal in order to ascertain the real state of affairs and also the steps to be taken to protect the wild life and minimize the man animal conflict in future, appointed a joint committee to go into the question and submit a factual and action taken report including the long term management plan to avoid such recurrences in future.
If there is already any such scheme, what is the stage of the implementation and how effectively it is being done and whether any further improvement will have to be made in the scheme for this purpose to avoid such tragedies and submit a report along with their suggestions and recommendation.
Committee has been granted one month’s time to submit its’ report.
Official respondents are also directed to submit their statement/report showing the progress of action taken in respect of investigation, arrest and recovery of any compensation as provided as per rules from the persons who are responsible for the same.
Matter to be posted on 10th July, 2020. [Tribunal on its own motion v. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2020 SCC OnLine NGT 130 , decided on 05-06-2020]