Madras HC dismisses PIL against transfer of 1,000 crocodiles to Gujarat

The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the transfer of 1000 crocodiles from the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) to Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (GZRRC) in Gujarat.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala dismissed the petition stating that when experts were satisfied with the facilities available at the GZRCC of Reliance Industries Ltd, the court would not interfere in it.

The bench said that the petitioner had not submitted any relevant documents with the petition and added that the objection of the petitioner to the transfer of the 1000 crocodiles was devoid of merit and without any factual basis.

The court observed that the Supreme Court had categorically stated that the court should approach such issues on an eco-centric basis and not on an anthropogenic basis. The court explained the term eco-centric and said that it pertained to both humans and animals.

The court said that the MCBT had conceded before it that it does not have the financial backing to take care of the proliferating number of crocodiles in its facility in Chennai. The MCBT had also vouched for the state-of-the-art facilities available at GZRCC.

The division bench said, “We have further observed on pursuance of the photographs produced by the MCBT that the crocodiles are comfortably housed in GZRCC facility and it was in a much better facility when compared to the crammed way in which they were kept at MCBT.”

The judges also came out strongly against the litigant on his plea seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the transfer of the crocodiles without verifying the amended master plan of the GZRCC.

The court said that it was rejecting the plea by the petitioner A. Viswanathan for a CBI, CB-CID, or SIT investigation into the transfer of the crocodiles.

20220810-185401

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