Karnataka High Court Says Elephant Belongs to Forest Not Temples

26 Aug, 2021 17:09 IST|Sakshi Post

Recently the Karnataka government and High Court were looking over a matter involving an elephant that was present in a temple. The suggestion was to hand over the animal to the forest department. The case hearing was done.

The Bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice NS Sanjay Gowda said during the case hearing that the elephant, an animal is supposed to be in the forest and not in the Temple. “Elephant must be there in the forest and not Temple,” said the Court. No matter what the case is, an animal must be there in its natural habitat.

As per the council, the elephant was there in the Temple for worship and Pooja. But the Court objected to this point and said that this is no less than animal cruelty. You are keeping it locked in the Temple when it should be roaming around in the forest. Keeping the animal away from its natural habitat is plain cruelty. The elephant should be there with other elephants and animals.

What is it About?

Back in 2002, the trustees of Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple Vidyaranyapura Tindlu Bangalore purchased an elephant from the Kerala Forest Department in accordance with the Wildlife Protection Act of that time. But now the rules have changed.

On August 10, 2018, the Principal Secretary of the Muzarai Department issued an order proclaiming the institution a Muzarai institution, citing Section 43 of the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.

In a case filed in 2018, the petitioners challenged the legality of the aforementioned order in the High Court. Following the parties' hearings, the Court issued an interim order requiring the respondent parties (Temple or Forest Department) not to take any steps to acquire ownership of the elephant unless the Court expressly permits it.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu: Covid Test For Elephants After Virus Kills Lion

Ultimately, the parties concerned from the Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple shared that they didn’t need the elephant and that it can be taken away. Later on, the prospect was to hand it over to the Forest Department. This required proper and legal change of ownership. The court finally gave their decision on the elephant and said that it was to be taken to a rehabilitation centre.

The final decision on the case was not given and the next hearing will take place on September 13.

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