The Supreme Court on Monday admitted a writ petition demanding a review of its April 2013 judgment that ordered the translocation of Asiatic Lions and issued notices to Centre, state government and other parties.
“After hearing the argument, the three-judge division bench has agreed to review the April 2013 order of the translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh and issued notices to the concerned parties,” said Tushar Gokani, advocate for the petitioner.
Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), a Rajkot-based NGO, has claimed that certain facts were not brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, which ordered the translocation of lions from Gir Forest to Kuno in Madhya Pradesh in its April 2013 order.
“The court relied on the 2000 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report that had put Asiatic Lions on the red list describing it as critically endangered species but has now moved — in its latest report — out from the critically endangered list to the endangered list. The IUCN report on the Asiatic Lions further stated that the population of the Asiatic Lion has not only stabilised but also extends beyond the Gir Forest across four regions of Gujarat,” stated the petition. The three-judge bench of Justice AK Patnaik, Justice SS Nijjar and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla has been hearing the petition filed by WCT. The petitioner has requested the SC to declare the chief wildlife warden, the state government and the Centre as the appropriate authorities to determine and decide the necessity for the translocation of any wild animal.
The petitioner has also demanded that the court declare classification of the Asiatic Lion as a critically endangered species in the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016) as erroneous.
“Declare that the recommendations of the National Board for Wildlife on matters relating to the translocation of any wild animal are not binding upon the chief wildlife warden. Declare that the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016) is a non-statutory instrument and does not bind the chief wildlife warden,” the petitioner requested the court.