On witnessing a video played by the forest department and other footages of a news channel, the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu, on pointing out to aspects like animal behaviour being beyond human intelligence and survival of the fittest, said, “there is no doubt that Rivaldo will face difficulties in the wild. But we cannot be sure that Rivaldo prefers captivity than being let out in the wild.”
Pointing that Rivaldo may foray into human settlement but he should be encouraged to go back into the wild unless it’s a question of his survival, Banerjee said, The forest official’s expertise that Rivaldo should acclimatise itself and ultimately learn to live with his deficiencies in the wild has also got to be taken into account.”
“The court has to yield to the greater expertise of the forest officials in such regard and at any rate, it does not appear that the forest officials have no concern for the animal or it is shrieking the responsibility,” the bench held.
Based on this, the bench directed the forest department to submit another video on how Rivaldo is doing. The bench on adjourning the case by eight weeks insisted the date of the footage be apparent in the video itself.
However, on recording the submission that Rivaldo is traversing in the cleared elephant corridors, the bench held, “there is an apprehension that while attention remains on Rivaldo, the elephant corridors freed of encroachment pursuant to the court order has been permitted to be encroached once again.”
“The forest department should ensure that elephant corridors are left free from human interferences,” Banerjee stressed.