Guwahati: The Supreme Court has broadened the scope of the high-powered committee dealing with the transfer and transportation of captive elephants in India.
The committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Deepak Verma (retd), will now be responsible for dealing with any approval or grievance related to the transfer, import into India, or procurement of wild animals by any rehabilitation centre or zoo in the country.
The order came in response to an application filed for transporting elephants bred in captivity from Karnataka to Radha Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust in Gujarat.
The court has directed that all complaints in this regard must be forwarded to the committee for consideration and recommendation of appropriate action.
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Additionally, all state and central authorities have been directed to report the seizure of wild animals or abandonment of captive wild animals to the committee.
The committee will have the authority to recommend the transfer of ownership of captive animals or of seized wild animals to any willing rescue centre or zoo for their immediate welfare, care, and rehabilitation.
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The court also allowed the committee chairman to determine the honorarium and the expenses for carrying out their daily functions.
The expansion of the committee across the country is expected to serve the real public interest and advance the cause of welfare, care, and rehabilitation of wild animals, while also curbing the filing of frivolous PILs before different High Courts.