Delhi HC Orders Seized Elephants To Be Moved Back To Gujarat

| Updated: April 6, 2022 10:18 am

The Delhi High Court has ordered the Delhi government to relocate a female domesticated elephant seized under the animal protection ordinance from Haryana to Gujarat by April 15.

Justice Najmi Waziri ordered that the elephant, which was living in a Haryana rescue centre, be relocated to Krishan Temple Management Committee, Moti Khavdi, Jamnagar, noting that the re-location was in the animal’s best interests because the Jamnagar location was approximately 400 acres and would be a “far better abode for the elephant to forage through.”

The petitioner told the court that the Delhi government took Motti into custody on grounds of inadequate standards for its maintenance and upkeep. The Delhi administration had previously told the court that the petitioner lacked locus standi because the elephant had become its property.

The court, however, ruled that the government’s position was “untenable,” that the petitioner’s ownership of Motti could not be taken away simply because the government had taken custody for better upkeep, and that the elephant could not be appropriated by the authorities automatically unless a reasoned order is issued following a hearing.

“By April 15, 2022, the respondents must ensure that Motti (the elephant) is transported to the aforementioned place in Jamnagar.” “Let Motti be brought to her new home with the best intentions of all counsel, the parties, and the court,” the judge said in a recent ruling.

The order was issued in response to a petition filed by the elephant’s owner, Farukh Khan, seeking directions to transport the seized animal to a better location and reuniting it with its former family, which included Gangaram (male), Dhonmati (female), Matti (female), and Chandani (female) of Jamnagar.

The court noted that attempts were being made by the Haryana government and the Office of the Chief Wildlife Warden here, and that the Delhi government had issued an order for Motti’s removal, and that the petitioner was ready and willing to pay the necessary expenditures for the relocation.

Following the surrender notice issued in 2017, the elephant was seized under Section 42 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and placed in the custody of the Delhi government, and housed at the Ban Santour Elephant Rescue Centre in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *