HC refuses to modify shoot-at-sight order against tigress T1

अवनी T1 tigress WII

Dismissing the last plea filed by a Mumbai-based organisation – Earth Brigade – and wildlife enthusiast Dr Jerryl Banait, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has declined to stay the order by Forest Department to tranquilise and if necessary shoot the problem tigress T1 as a matter of last resort.

A division bench consisting of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Shriram Modak, refused to stay or modify the shoot-at-sight order and made it clear that it had attained finality at the Supreme Court. The petitioners repeatedly sought to omit the option of eliminating T-1 as a measure of last resort, but High Court permitted forest authorities, to take a final call, if it develops into threat to human life.

Through an order passed by Wildlife Warden-cum- Principal Chief Conservator of Forest of Maharashtra, A K Mishra on September 4, the Forest Department officials were directed to make all attempts to tranquilise the tigress T1, which is roaming in jungles near Pandharkawda in Yavatmal district, with its two cubs; and in case it develops threat to human life, then only take steps to eliminate it.

Opposing the plea of the petitioners that in no case tigress should be permitted to be eliminated; through an affidavit, the respondents have refuted the contention of the petitioners that the respondents have diluted the procedure while implementing the impugned order and pointed out to the court that the impugned order has been affirmed by the HC on September 6 and subsequently by the Supreme Court without any change. The impugned order was passed by the Chief Wildlife Warden, under Section 11 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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