HC orders notice to TN, Centre in plea against transferring 1,000 crocodiles

The petitioner prayed for a direction to restrain the permission granted by the State and the Central Zoo Authority to a Zoological Centre in Jam Nagar for transferring 1,000 crocodiles from the State of Tamil Nadu to Gujarat, as the permission granted is unlawful and illegal and suffers from various discrepancies.
HC orders notice to TN, Centre in plea against transferring 1,000 crocodiles
Representative image

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday ordered notice to the State Chief Wildlife Warden, Central Zoo Authority, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, and Greens Zoological, Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre, Gujarat within four weeks in a plea challenging the approval given by the State government to transfer 1000 crocodiles from Madras Crocodile Bank Trust to Jam Nagar in Gujarat.

The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala passed the orders on hearing a plea filed by Dr K Swamy, a city-based animal activist as well as an ex-serviceman.

The petitioner prayed for a direction to restrain the permission granted by the State and the Central Zoo Authority to a Zoological Centre in Jam Nagar for transferring 1,000 crocodiles from the State of Tamil Nadu to Gujarat, as the permission granted is unlawful and illegal and suffers from various discrepancies.

The respondent a private zoo in Gujarat had gotten permission with a layout to operate the zoo only in some 7,300 square feet of land and they can accommodate only 56 crocodiles, according to the petitioner.

“However, the central zoo authority’s act of allowing the application to transfer 1,000 crocodiles when provision is made only for 56 is illogical and illegal. Also, the grant of permission to the private centre to operate the zoo is not valid because the Wild Life (Protection) (Amendment) Act, 1991 and the Recognition of Zoo Rules 2009 made there not provide for the operation of a private zoo, ” the petitioner argued.

The petitioner further submitted that the recognition of the centre as a ‘Mini Zoo’ is incorrect despite the area of land and quantity of animals proposed in the master layout being more and this allows the centre to breach the standards and norms.

He further prayed for a direction to order CBI or any other independent agencies to probe into this matter.

Recording the submissions, the bench directed the respondents to submit their responses within four weeks.

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