New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the Centre and 12 states including Odisha to declare ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ the barbaric practices like stuffing crackers in food items and chalked off sticks to ward off wild animals. The court said this while hearing a petition seeking directions to the authorities.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justices RS Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna issued the notices while taking up the petition filed by Shubham Awasthi.
The petitioner sought a direction to the Union government to bring in necessary amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to enhance punishment for causing cruelty against animals.
Awasti also stated that the governments should fill the vacancies in forest forces and upgrade the forest forces with modern equipment for effective management and propagation of necessary awareness pertaining to human-animal conflicts.
It was prayed that the Centre should issue guidelines to all the states for animal census to understand the need of the wildlife and take appropriate measures to protect them. The petitioner pleaded with the court to direct the Union government and states to issue guidelines for tracking of elephants in order to save them from the threat of extinction and cruelty against them.
The petitioner contended that the cruelty with which elephants are treated nowadays is a far cry from what it was like in ancient India. Citing the barbaric incident of Kerala, where an elephant ate a pineapple filled with crackers in Palakkad, the petitioner contended that it was quite common for locals to use fruits filled with crackers to ward off wild boars and other animals which may destroy standing crops.
The petitioner urged the court to direct the Centre for scientific/alternative measures to ward off wild animals which may pose threat to standing crops and human settlements.