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SDM to Review Plea to Ban Elephant Race

The elephant race permits seven or more elephants to run freely without chaining them and this may cause threat to people

Published: 05th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2015 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

THRISSUR:The clamour for prohibiting captive elephants in temple festivals and other assorted parades had reached a noticeable high in the months close to Thrissur Pooram.

With more such cases dealing with the captive elephants and festivals currently pending at the High Court and the apex court, the Thrissur sub-divisional magistrate will once again review a petition on May 29 to ban the famed ‘Aanayottam’ held at Guruvayur as per a Sessions Court directive.

The earlier Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by advocate P Pramod, had been rejected by Thrissur sub-divisional magistrate in 2012. The PIL had sought to ban the annual race on the grounds that it was in violation of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Guruvayur Devaswom Act.

However, in response to a revision petition filed against the order in the Sessions Court, Additional District and Sessions Judge P Nandanakrishnan set aside the impugned order and posted the matter for fresh disposal.

The court further ordered the petitioner and Guruvayur Devaswom administrator to be present in front of Sub-Divisional magistrate on May 29. 

The petitioner had contended that the matter came within the purview of the court, as further continuance of the race endangered life and property, and was actionable under CrPC section 133. 

“In the elephant race held in March this year, a tusker attacked and overturned a diesel tanker,” the petitioner said.

The court observed that the order of the sub- divisional magistrate was illegal, irregular and erroneous and that the magistrate had failed to look into the reports received by him.

“The elephant race allowed by the Devaswom permits seven or more elephants to run freely without chaining them and this may cause damage to property and threat to the people. Moreover, beating and kicking of elephants at the time of elephant race amounts to cruelty towards animals,” the court noted.

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