Cal HC | It is time for judiciary to have a look at matters touching safety of Jungle habitat & forests: HC takes suo motu cognizance of unnatural death of elephants & bisons

Calcutta High Court: A Division Bench of Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, CJ and Subhasis Dasgupta, J. takes suo motu cognizance of the unnatural death of the elephants, bisons and other wildlife in the form of animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, etc. as well as the flora and fauna.

Media reports have highlighted that the unnatural death of Elephants along with Bisons are repeatedly happening in different parts of North Bengal.

Further, it has been stated that while there could be reasons attributable to behaviour of animals in the jungles, the possibility of electrocution and killing for gain or game cannot be ruled out.

Through the media reports itself, the Court states that it has received the inputs of the departments concerned.

Preservation of Forest Wealth

Bench observes that it is time for the judiciary to have a look at the matters touching the safety of the Jungle habitat and the forests, having particular regard to the interest of the wildlife in the form of animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, etc. as well as the flora and fauna including the preservation of forest wealth.

In continuation of the above Court stated that they are initially inclined to look at the condition of wildlife management situation in the Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara National Park in Alipurduar district, Gorumara National Park, Binnaguri in Jalpaiguri District.

“We need to consider the risk to animal life in the forests when they come in conflict with the movement of trains.”

In view of the above point, Court stated that the railway administration’s modality of protective intrusion into the forest area also deserves to be considered.

Hence, Chief Wildlife Warden, West Bengal shall place a report of the situation at present in regard to the above-stated issue.[Unnatural death of Elephants, Bisons and other wild animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc. in North Bengal during the recent past, In Re., WPA No. 6904 of 2020, decided on 03-09-2020]

Y.J. Dastoor, ASG, for Union of India; Kishore Dutta, AG for the State and Siddhartha Banerjee, for the Court.

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