Is Gujarat serious about keeping the lion's share?
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
Gujarat appears to have already handed over the Asiatic lions to assertive neighbour Madhya Pradesh (MP) on a platter. This time when the petition came up for hearing in the supreme court, the Gujarat government had made up its mind to seek four weeks' time to file a counter-affidavit.
The Gujarat government chose to send a junior counsel to represent it and seek a date even as no senior forest officer was present during the hearing. On the other hand, MP had not only senior forest officers but also a senior counsel like Soli Sorabjee present in the court.
A Delhi-based NGO, Biodiversity Conservation Trust had filed a litigation in the supreme court urging it to direct the Gujarat government to cooperate with Madhya Pradesh in transferring the lions to Kuno-Palpur.
It is always understood that whenever the time is sought in such legal matters, the bench can put forth some questions. The junior counsel representing Gujarat, probably did not carry any brief.
When he was asked as to why Gujarat was opposing the move to give lions from the wild to MP, he replied that the area did not have the required prey base. So far, the state has been opposing the move to hand over the lions on ground that two specie of big cats cannot survive together (MP is known for its tigers), and earlier attempts to shift lions have failed. Forest officials here say that the standing counsel who had been representing the state in the case should have taken the case seriously especially when Sorabjee was on the other side. But this counsel seemed not to have any directive from the government.
Senior officials also remained away from the hearing — they were too busy with the Vibrant Gujarat International Kite Festival.
Former principal chief conservator of forests, GA Patel told TOI, "Senior officials should have remained present in the court. When a junior goes wrong it was the duty of the officer to correct him and argue on the technical points like lions and tigers cannot stay together and also the earlier efforts to translocate lions had failed. Also the senior counsel representing Gujarat should have taken care to brief his junior."
- ► 2018 (90)
- ► 2017 (156)
- ► 2016 (128)
- ► 2015 (165)
- ► 2014 (139)
- ► 2013 (308)
- ► 2012 (493)
- ► 2011 (296)
- Leopard attacks a child
- ‘Centre did not consult state on lion shifting’
- Lion cub’s carcass found in Visavadar range
- Lion census in April, to cover 4 districts
- Is Gujarat serious about keeping the lion’s share?...
- Lion transfer will be big blow to Gujarat tourism
- Lion safari at Ambardi too
- Forest officials’ expertise to be considered befor...
- Few foresters in Gir know wildlife nitty-gritty: s...
- ‘70 per cent of Corbett resorts host weddings, rac...
- Lions for Kuno: MP reiterates demand for Gir’s wil...
- SC asks why Guj isn’t giving lions to MP
- 5 nabbed from Barda Wildlife Sanctuary while cooki...
- Girl, labourer survive separate leopard attacks in...
- Leopard attacks girl child
- Seized lion claws fake, say police
- Buffalo killed by lions in Bhavnath area
- Govt yet to act on poaching incidents
- Police set decoy, seize pair of lion' paws
- Intel says Poachers on the prowl in Gir again
- Lioness attacks farm labour
- Two caught with Lion paws
- Forest Department frontline staff trained for more...
- ‘MP sanctuary ideal for Gir lions, but not for tho...
- Forest department grabs truck with illegal wood
- 50 Gir lions to get GPS collars Wild Cats Between ...
- Forest department shot four dogs
- Lion dies of old age, leopard's death still myster...
- MP ready to welcome lions, Gujarat in no mood to a...
- Leopard trapped in snare, dies
- Relocation of families from revenue villages of Ku...
- ▼ January 2010 (31)
- ► 2009 (316)
- ► 2008 (342)
- ► 2007 (254)