Friday, August 29, 2014

Last hope of stopping lion transfer dashed

Last hope of stopping lion transfer dashed
The Times of India

In a major blow to the Gujarat government, the last hope against translocation of Asiatic lions to Kuno Palpur has been dashed. The three judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India R M Lodha rejected the curative petition filed by Gujarat government against the apex court's order directing the translocation to Kuno Palpur.

On April 15, 2013, the apex court in a judgment directed that the lions be translocated to Kuno-Palpur in Madhya Pradesh from the Gir Sanctuary. The apex court had also formed a 12-member expert group to decide on aspects of the translocation. The court had, in the order dated April 15, 2013, directed that the translocation be done in accordance with the guidelines of IUCN.

The apex court had asked the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to take urgent steps for the reintroduction of a small number of lions to Kuno from Gir, on the ground that the highly-endangered species needed to be dispersed to eliminate the risk of extinction in of Justice K S case of an epiRadhakrishdemic. nan and The bench Justice C K Prasad had ruled that no state, organization or person can claim ownership or possession of wild animals in forests.

Animals in the wild are the property of the nation for which no state can claim ownership and the states duty is to protect wildlife and conserve it. Gujarat had later in May 2013 preferred a review petition which was dismissed in October the same year.

Later, the Gujarat government filed a curative petition.

The petition was taken up on Tuesday for an in-chamber hearing by Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, Justice H L Dattu and Justice T S Thakur.

The three-judge bench in the order said: "We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents.

In our opinion, no case is made out. Hence, the curative petition is dismissed."

With this cura tive petition dis missed, Gujarat is left with no legal op tion but to translo cate the lions to Ku no Palpur from Gir.

The matter now rests with the 12 member committee, which has se nior government officials along with lion expert Ravi Chellam and scientist Y V Jhala, which will have to take a final call.

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