JAIPUR: In a landmark judgement, the Rajasthan High Court has placed elephants in the same category as human beings and awarded a compensation of Rs.599,440 for the death of a pachyderm in an accident in 1988.
The court in its verdict on Wednesday treated the elephant as a "living creature equivalent to a human being".
"The court ruled that the owner of the elephant should get a compensation of Rs.599,440," G.K. Bhartiya, counsel for the owner, said on Thursday.
He said the court ordered that the owner, Saddique Khan, should get the amount from the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in Jaipur.
Earlier, Saddique had challenged the contention of the New India Insurance Company that the animal could not be treated as normal livestock. The company said it would not give more than Rs 2,000 for the dead animal.
"We objected to it and went to the high court, which has given its ruling in our favour," Bhartiya said.
The elephant was hit by a jeep while it was on its way to Amber Palace in October 1988.
The Motor Accident Tribunal of Jaipur which first heard the case awarded a compensation of Rs 290,000 to the owner as total claim in August 1993 with 12 percent interest from the date the claims were made.
This amount was to be paid by the New India Assurance Company, which had done the insurance of the jeep. The insurance company went in appeal in high court against this order of the tribunal.
The high court enhanced the total compensation after adding interest from the date of filing of claim petition.