High Court stays Karnataka's wildlife trophy surrender notification

Trophy surrender order was seriously opposed by the residents and political leaders in Kodagu as wildlife trophies are a part of several cultural celebrations and observations.
Karnataka HC
Karnataka HC

MADIKERI: The High Court has passed a stay order on the state government’s Wildlife (Protection & Surrender of undeclared wildlife or animal article, trophy, or uncured trophy) (Karnataka) Rules 2024.

While a stay order had been earlier passed on the petition filed by two residents of Kodagu, the Court has now stayed the entire notification. The next hearing in this regard is posted for July 24.

The state government issued a notification in January this year ordering the residents and other organizations to hand over undeclared wildlife trophies to the government before April. The notification was passed per the Karnataka Wildlife Protection Rules 2024. The government also cautioned that possessing wildlife trophies without the required certificate would lead to punishment.

However, this order was seriously opposed by the residents and political leaders in Kodagu as wildlife trophies are a part of several cultural celebrations and observations.

Numerous temples, traditional houses and other individuals have wildlife trophies that have been with the family since the ancestral times and the notification received a strong opposition in the district.

Meanwhile, two residents Pattanda Ranji Poonacha and Kodimaniyanda Kuttappa approached the High Court opposing the notification. Advocated K Somanna argued the case then and the two petitioners received relief from the Court after a stay order was passed relieving the two petitioners from returning the wildlife trophies.

However, the Court has now passed a stay order to the entire notification and residents need not return the Wildlife trophies.

As confirmed by advocate Somanna, the stay order is not only for the two petitioners but for the entire notification. He confirmed that the next hearing will be held on July 24.

“On the advice of MLA Ponnanna, the application is being submitted and the argument is being presented. The court had ordered to grant a stay only to the petitioners who had filed an application. Now the state government has got a stay on the notification so this order will be applicable across the state,” Somanna explained.

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