Guj HC approves committee to look into unnatural lion deaths
Ahmedabad, Dec 29 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court today gave its nod to the state government-appointed 9-member committee formed to look into the incidents of unnatural death of lions.
The high court also directed the government to submit a report in two months regarding measures it proposed to take to avoid such deaths in future.
A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi passed the order after government pleader submitted before the court that the state government has constituted a committee in accordance with its earlier order on the issue.
The court was hearing a PIL which sought a CID probe into the death of a pregnant lioness in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary due to electrocution on September 1 this year.
The committee will include chief conservator of forest and four other senior officials of the forest department, besides an Inspector General of Police, two officials of the states home department and chief officer of the Pashchim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL), the court was told.
The court had asked the government to suggest names for inclusion in a committee which could look at ways to avoid such incidents after it was told that several lions have died in the sanctuary from electrocution as farmers in the area ran electric current through iron mesh fences put up to protect their farm land.
The PIL, filed by one Biren Pandya, sought a CID probe into the death of a pregnant lioness due to suspected electrocution in Talala range of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. He alleged there was no progress in the investigation being conducted by the forest department.
As per the PIL, 310 Asiatic lions died in the Gir Sanctuary in the last five years, out of which 25 met unnatural death caused by electrocution or poaching. PTI KA PD NRB SK PTP