The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court disposed of the PIL seeking intervention of in transfer of elephants from Assam to Gujrat.
The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising of Chief Justice (Acting) Mr. Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Manish Choudhury disposed of the PIL seeking intervention of the High Court in regard to the decision of the State Government taken to transport on lease for six months four elephants from Tinsukia in upper Assam to Ahmedabad in Gujarat for participating in the Annual Rath Yatra festival to be held from 4th of July, 2019.
The Division Bench by order dated 25.06.2019 (Tuesday) expressed that it is ill-fit to make any comment as to in what manner the elephants are to be transported. But, before any such steps are taken the relevant circumstances have to be taken into consideration in mind as the safety of the elephants is of paramount importance and this aspect has to be considered and be left to the experts. Therefore, this obligation was passed by the Division Bench to the Principal Chief Conservator (Wildlife) and Chief Wild Life Warden, Assam.
Apparently, in passing the order granting permission it is not indicated that the heat-wave aspects have been considered. Whether, it was necessary to take into consideration at that point of time, the Court expressed no comments, but, since the issue has been raised in the PIL , the Division Bench is of the opinion that the Chief Wild Life Warden, Assam shall pass a fresh order considering all aspects of the transport of the elephants.
The Additional Advocate General, Assam submitted that Air Conditioned wagons for the transport of the elephants are not available as communicated to him by the Standing Counsel, Railway Department. Therefore, the Division Bench directed that fresh orders may be passed on or before 27.06.2019 and the copy of the said order be furnished to Mr. Bhaskar Dev Konwar, Senior Advocate for the petitioners on the day itself of passing of the order.