“Today Tiger T23 is alive and elephant Rivaldo is free in the wild only because the court understood the scientific temperament adopted by the Forest department in handling the stray wild animals. The CJI was also concerned about water bodies and encroachments in forest areas,” a government pleader in the know of things told DT Next.
“The first bench comprising Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu held that it is not necessary to kill the big cat immediately. The particular tiger may not be a man-eater,” the MHC observed giving time for the Forest department to capture the tiger alive. The court also pulled up the State while hearing the petitions related to the pollution in the Kosasthalaiyar river and water bodies that were suffering encroachment, the advocate added.
“Right from day one, we wanted to capture T23 tiger alive and the court monitoring helped us to go ahead with our action plan. At times court monitoring is good for the department so that the rescue operations are transparent and sincere,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden Shekhar Kumar Niraj.
The Bench led by Justice Sanjib Banerjee also appreciated the department when the elusive suspected maneater tiger was caught alive risking the lives of TN foresters. Similarly, the first bench was also concerned about the captive elephants and passed orders to ensure that no further elephants is taken captive except for treatment. In general, the recent court judgments like the observations on invasive species are pro-environmental and speak about conservation upholding objectivity of forest department, the chief wildlife warden said.
However, a few advocates differed in their opinion and said the outgoing CJI was fascinated with the environment and was at times harsh and went ahead with his observations. The judgments and observations should always be under the law, but when a judge is not open for discussions, it may lead to an imbalance between the judiciary and state administration, a senior counsel told DT Next wishing not to be quoted.