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HC seeks Chhattisgarh govt response on “unauthorised" capture and translocation of leopards

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice RCS Samant hearing the plea has asked the state to file a reply within the next four weeks.

Published: 29th April 2022 12:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2022 12:23 PM   |  A+A-

Chhattisgarh High Court. (Photo | EPS)

Chhattisgarh High Court. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh high court has served notice to the state government seeking a response on public interest litigation (PIL) filed to prevent the "unauthorised practices" to capture and translocate leopards by the forest department, allegedly in complete violation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the laid down Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice RCS Samant hearing the plea has asked the state to file a reply within the next four weeks.

The petitioner Nitin Singhvi, a wildlife enthusiast, has filed a PIL citing that the Chhattisgarh forest department acting on their own whims and fancies had adopted a trial and error method while capturing leopards and releasing them back in the wild.

He enumerated instances where the forest department had in the past “arbitrarily” translocated the leopards after capturing them, even causing the death of one. 

“Indian Leopard, a Schedule-1 animal, has been given special safeguard under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. It should be captured or translocated unless the Chief Wild Life Warden gives an opinion in writing that the animal has become dangerous to human life. Besides, permission also needs to be taken from the Central Government. The decision to capture should only be the last option and the animal be released in its vicinity as they are inherently feel attached to their areas”, the petitioner argued.

It's ridiculous that the leopards are captured merely on the orders of the divisional forest officer (DFO) and released wherever they wish, he added.

“Not just the rules of the Centre are breached, the forest department violated the state’s own laid down guidelines. And such unacceptable actions are also leading to increased man-leopard conflict in Chhattisgarh”, the petitioner affirmed.



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