On Friday, the Southern Railways filed its detailed report in Madras High Court enumerating various suggestions to prevent the accidental death of elephants on railway tracks.
In the report, it has been stated that in some areas, the railway authorities require the assistance / guidance and approval of the official of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department to implement the suggestions
In light of the above, the Chief Wildlife Warden, Government of Tamil Nadu, and the District Forest Officer, Coimbatore, were directed by a division Bench of Justices V. Bharathidasan and N. Sathish Kumar directed to go through the suggestions made by the railway authorities and submit their further suggestions, if any, in writing, on the next date of hearing.
Insofar as the issue of Elephant Poaching was concerned, the CBI also filed its detailed report explaining the investigation conducted by them into the unnatural death of elephants.
The Superintendent of Police, SCB, CBI, who appeared through video conference submitted that,
“One Ajit Bright, who was the kingpin in elephant poaching and ivory trafficking, was arrested and has been taken into police custody and the investigation is going on in the matter.”
The Superintendent of Police further submitted that since the cases are very old and as no DNA profiling of the dead elephants were done, they find it difficult to compare the seized tusks/modified tusks.
Taking into the submissions made by the Superintendent of Police, SCB, CBI, the Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu was directed to appoint Dr.Shekhar Kumar Niraj, Additional Chief Conservator of Forests, as Nodal Officer forthwith to co-ordinate with the other District Forest Officers in the State and to assist the Superintendent of Police, SCB, Chennai, in the matter of investigation.
Since no DNA profiling of elephants, who died either naturally or unnaturally, were done and therefore, the CBI found difficulties in investigating the case further.
Thereby, the Bench directed the concerned officials of the Department of Forests in Tamil Nadu to ensure to do DNA profiling of the elephants who died either naturally or unnaturally and preserve the same for comparison and verification purposes in the future.
“The Amici Curiae in this matter or the other interested counsel are directed to submit their suggestions, if any, on or before the next date of hearing so as to enable this court to pass a comprehensive order in the matter,” noted the Bench.
The matter is listed for next hearing on 25th January.
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