The Madras High Court confirmed the decision of the Tamil Nadu government and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in New Delhi to transfer 1,000 crocodiles from the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) in Mamallapuram to Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
The first bench consisting of Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice N Mala endorsed the decision. They dismissed a PIL petition from A Viswanathan of Chintadripet on Wednesday.
The experts were contended with the facilities available at the GZRR Centre in Gujarat, along with Reliance Industries Limited. The bench further raised the issue that the petitioner had not given any materials to go against the decision taken by experts. “We are of the opinion that the objection of the petition to transfer the 1,000 crocodiles lacks any merits and without any factual basis.” the bench declared.
The Supreme Court was of the opinion that the approach of the court in these kinds of cases should be eco-centric and not anthropocentric. The court basically aims at protecting both humans and non-humans. The rescue and rehabilitation of the crocodiles in this case must be viewed from an ecocentric angle. This is true because wild animals are not owned by the State or Central government or any organisation or individuals. They are a nation`s treasure and no one can own them, the judges explained. MCBT had agreed before the court that it is bereft of finances required to take care of the multiplying number of crocodiles in the4 facility at Mamallapuram and hence, they referred them to the GZRRC, where the state-of-the-art facilities are available.
The bench dismissed the PIL, after looking at the photographs produced by MCBT which showcased the comforts available for the crocodiles when they will be shifted to the GZRRC in Gujarat, compared to MCBT which was crammed.