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Arms Act
Article 48A in The Constitution Of India 1949
Tarun Bharat Sangh, Alwar vs Union Of India And Others on 8 April, 1993
Tarun Bharat Sangh vs Union Of India on 12 April, 1994
Essar Oil Ltd vs Halar Utkarsh Samiti & Ors on 19 January, 2004

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Karnataka High Court
Suo Motu vs The State Of Karnataka on 25 May, 2009
Author: P.D.Dinakaran(Cj) & V.G.Sabhahit

omen 'n-us THE QEKDAY or MAY, 2009




me HOWBLE MRJBSTICE V.'(§.VS::'l'.l_aAB'l"l-v|A}ll-fI'[ "    

wnrr PETITION No.14g;:9 ${;o_os (G91-a§s~_P::C;1-~  

Between :

Suo Motu



. Principal Secreigary ' ...Petitioner The State of }<arna3tak.-§go.o,l- 'V 'V ' " Represented bygthe"CV|'iief1'SecretaryV ' Vidhana Soudha " ' _ A Bangalore -------- _ Department of__E'cology_, VForest-.a'.n'd"'Environment M.S. Building, Vlclhana V_eedhi~__..'r' Bangalore. L ' .. * '-

'f J'VF'h'e Ch'ie? Conselryatorl o'f"'Forests Department of F.ore,s_t Aran§vao_'B'havaan - ' u 18*' .Cross, 'Ma'ileswar'am _ Bangalore ~-- S6fl'i.Q€i3 _ The Depultytconyservator of Forests " * A"De';;artment..of Forest ' Mysore '-

-Kodiagu Model Forest Trust registered Trust '=.Co||'ege of Forestry Campus "Extremely shocked and deepiy concerned over the news of the death of four (4) elephants under mysterious circumstances near Kappsoge in Nanjangud Taiuk angit surprised and worried about the statistics that elephants died in the last seven days and twen--ty~five"v:..."' ii" (25) elephants had met with gory death in « months around Bandipur and Nagari§hoie'i.'ational-Pa'.*k._V"t' but the authorities concerned are yet to tracehlan for " it A the cause of the said disaster as «reported in ttlevhlfiress, this Court suo--motu initiated the'V"ipresent publiceinterest litigation. V' V' 'P P 2.1. It is apt to quote. Prince Philip, the Dul<e,_of Edinburgh' --. in his Vhfioreword to International Wildmfie thaw izthagtz -. "Many ~»..Vp'eo;«:§.le seem' ~ to think that the conserva'tionn7of nature'-is'*-sirnpiywa' nature of being kind to _an'imals "«.and_ 'ye_njoying walks in the countryside. 'Sadly;~l..perhaps; it is a great deal more complicated _than._th--at-.. _ usual gwith7-all'~~--iegai systems, the crucial requirement is for the terms of the conventions to be widely accepts-d.. _____ and rapidly implemented. .Ré'gretfuily' 'progress in this direction is proving ' ,di3astr_ousiy_ s"io._w. . .. "

v"--'ifheA'.::.sentiments expressed by H.R.H. Prince Philip. is rroved to be true.

:The Apex Court observed regarding the m.eas'ures for protection of environment, ecology and

- Wildlife in Tarun Bharat Sangh v. Union of India reported ...iniV1992 Supp. (2) SCC 448 as quoted hereunder: a,-':'{\ "The conception of ecological balance in nature is based on the fundamental concept that nature is 'series of complex biotic communities of which a man is an interdependent part' and that it should not be _ given to a part to trespass and diminish the whole. The largest single factor in the depletion of wealth«ol'-- . " animal life in nature has been the 'civilised m'an'_ operating directly through excessive commercial hunting or, more disastrously, indirectly _-through. ' invading or destroying natural habitats. . "l 2

4. The protection of ecology, en'vironrnent'a_nd'*the V' it wildlife should be the prime coiicerri of theVGover.nnien»t,..t particularly, the authorities meantuforlgitlvat purpose'. "

5. For these reason4s';.,_tl?§r'pre'sen._t .liti'gation should not be treated as the usual 'acfversarial li_tigatf.ion--"..

4. With this _ njotve_ of ybly order dated 7.11.2008, directe'd""_44tli:§§..';'./$tatea.__;'G_ov--ern_ment and the Central Government issue seriously; study, investigate, collect matervi'a'l'sla"ncl"'furnish a report by 14.11.2008 as to the cause. theideath oivelephants, the lapse on the part ol'fi_t:he" concerned; the action taken against them for such'1l'a.ps_es,l' remedial measures proposed to be taken l'=:At'o'preven't.__such'disaster in future, the precautions to be taken to ' " fgriotectggthge vvivldtllfe, etc. S. We also appointed the learned Advocate General and the Assistant Solicitor General to assist the Court and the views/suggestions from the Bar.

6. Thereafter, on 14.11.2008,;a""'turi:he.r issued as hereunder:

"Heard the learned Advocatei'w,General,--' 'Srilixiravind Kumar, learned Asst. S"olicltor.i"Gen_eral,*-.Sri ltl.VR;Naik, learned Senior Counsel," Kamath, Advocate and Dr. C.H.Basappanava_r.

2. Since the 'ii7'jvest:'gation to 'suspicious death of the elephants" i'n,;--the~P_ress.on,6.11.2008 is still going on,'_1/ve a~re:"oF::the that it may notm" be proper _Court.,to.,§_'express' any opinion at this stage; as_otherv.=ise,:flt.vvoiuidgiaffect the investigation and further action contempia\tedi"_f.n accordance with law. 4:3." ,That "ap_art, the learned Advocate General, "'Assistanti.,"nSolicitor General, other senior counsel and experts, ~14/ho'_hav'e_ come forward to assist the Court, seek furtl'§'erAtfire'e._weeks' time to submit their comprehensive report in theirn-atter and pray for an adjournment. 4". the meanwhile, we direct the investigation to Wise completed and final report submitted. "

7. When the matter came up for further hearing on 16.2.2009, the learned Advocate General took further filing a report on the issue. Thereafter the matter c_a_nie5{_ip.. _ further hearing on 9.4.2009. On 9.4.2009, tlf:e"'C-rofuerrlmeritilé submitted a report and an Action Planiidated..:1I;3_.2.lIG9'"ca.l_lerd;_rI 'Elephant Landscape' before this«--.._V Cooitlll ithe recommendations for the short-terrh-..:as.V_» well' lofn9~term measures.

8.1. The report -and'e..fActEo'=.1_ "'ti>;afi.l;'i.e. 'Elephant Landscape' dated the relating to:

(I) Status_ and ijqistriiatition offilephants; (II) Status of the'-Elepvhlant'-Habitat; (III) HumVaheElep_h'a«nt C'e.nflic"t; (IV) Why EI,eVphants i=ai'd__c'rops;

(V) Staff requirements;

~. A (VI}~ '-iRes'ea rch rec; u.i_fe.rnents; "(\JII')" Recommendations ~-- Short--term & Long--term ' ..Vn1easur,és;._ 9 aot to extract the following passages of the said .1 reVport.anid.._Acti'on Plan dated 11.3.2009 under each of the topics: go...


8.2.2. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF ELEPHANTS: Given the fact that elephants are far ranging species, it becomes very important for inter-state . T .. cooperation and coordination to achieve goals;'tha--t'~--. " ~ are common and beneficial to all states involved'. V T " ' xx xx xx ..

This calls for planning at the landscape whi-cit?' -sets overall goals and targets for the landscape and identifieseee the process of achieving these goaiagg Xx xx xx In addition to different admini'st_rative*~.areas,F multiple government agencies are actively ' "involved in implementing, T'€?e_lc)p:nent1~ _g agendas author in law enforcement in ar0undi"~':eAlep'l7lantlghabitats. As these different depa'rtn2ent.é in isolation there are times when' their a'ctiz!ities'i'c=agre._. counterproductive. It is therefore "essential it Aforaall agencies working on developmental. xactivities. to coordinate with the ;'V so as to bring about ecologically-compatible development in these iareasiLaéwerrforcement agencies too can play a vital role in helping_th'e' Department to enforce wildlife laws. 3"-'~___v'-»What is needed is the recognization that integrated land A fiusella-nd developmental planning in needed in areas with elephant habitat otherwise both people and elephants will i V .V _>SL.i-3fl"el'.


The elephant population of Karnataka is currently (2007) estimated by sample block count to be 4,000 to 5,000 in the State (census conducted the Forest Department with the technicalhiasslstance"o'f;é1_sianw Nature Conservation Foundation, c/o ;fISc,_Banoalore,*See'~.. Table 1 for details). A significantV".i_ncrease Athusn indicated from the populationestimatede in the early... 19805 by the Forest DepartmenVt,'».._yvl:ich vi/asL21" 00}to 2650 (reference: "Elephant:_Man.vConfiict in.l<arnatai'<a" by R. Sukumar in the Karnataica State Report 1 984-1985). This increa5e,.has_ coine iabsu: i'ri7i'h'é last 2-3 decades and is pe'rhajps assume the possibility of,son?e in earlier period and differences used) (so--called "total count" coiadparedvbtov sample counts that has higher statisticalyalidityrein"recent periods). i_-'lepha"nts "can'v._poten'tially live up to 60--70 years, perh,apsV s'omewhat..less in the wild. The average natural lbvmortality'-'rate is estimated at around 15 to 20% in infants calves. up_eto.4'oine"-year old), 5% up to 5 years old and 1- 3%e'for elephants above 5 years. The death rate of males is ge«neraflly'.h'igher than that of females as the former '*.compet'e_ among themselves for females (they are :fpoi'ygynous and sexually dimorphic) and are also ._bi_ologicaliy more prone to death from several natural causes. Besides, poaching for ivory takes a heavy 10 toll of the bull population. Given a birth rate of one calf every 5 years by a mature female, an elephant population.' can be expected to be growing when the adult female--w:.f"--«.:"'* mortality rate is less than about 2.5 to 3% per yea:r"(R._' --1- Sukumar, 1989, The Asian elephant. Ca_mbrid'g_e~ University Press). The elephant mortality, 'in--'_4KarnatVai<a during the past 6 years for comparison; assumiiag a total population in the state of about 4500 'elepha,nts,,. the 9' . mortality figures indicate that.._rthe overaii('with,out" differentiating male and female) _death--.rates.'in. the last few years have been around 2_"toV_ ihus, theeeawdult female death rate is almostcertaiivly 2% per year, implying thatthe population'is_capab_ie,eofgrowing in spite of the loss_"or'bLills to--.poachin.g'. 8.2.4. Hrs}-1,VEiLhE,pHA.NffeEi\i'sIfi%:V with rega.rd associated with eiephant densihi, hereunder:

'9'~'E;'_ephants lteystone species that modify their own habitat whiciyyin. turn facilitates creation of resources for other species -(Jones, et al. 1994, Organisms as ecosystem 'engineers. Oikos 69: 373--386). While such j impact "can, enhance or maintain biodiversity, elephants at Dhigh,_den'sities can also potentially have an adverse impact _théir habitat and that of other species in certain ' habitat and climatic types as in African savannas (Fritz, et

-aiy 2002, the influence of megaherbivores on the high 3.1 abundance of the tropic guilds in African ungulate communities. Oecologia 131: 620 - 625). Studies done in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) which is' adjacent to Bandipur NP have indicated that-'ja--e:'j"~«.V"'* density of more than one elephant per sq :_. make a significant impact on certain species plants (source: Daniel et al. 1994, i3Ni=is..repegrt)_,ti§'o;igh' V " A some of these plant species may also '»regeneiate.strongly ' in the longer term even at high:elephantdensitiesi. (data from plots maintained by IIS'c.__i"a.tb Muhdaimelaij, relationship between elephant_s__a-nvd their habitatsiis thus complex, and the'filhicanfobsevrvatioiisA may not be entirely appropriate for Current elephant densities in gth'e-- i1fililgikiseflysorie-Eastern Ghat landscape th'e.._total--population is

- also large.

We What our biodiversity conservation objectives . are' for various areas with elephants. D1'/'e,_Vthen" need" to formulate management < ._vstra.t'e§.ries on how bes.t..this diversity can be maintained in Sn'.eleph'a.nt<--inhabited landscape as current landscapes are._n-not "laige}~ ecosystems they once were and are morelikely prone to irreversible changes. Carrying capacity is difficult to assess; while V' "jelephantsi "damage" mature and recruitment class trees (also saplings for some species), the impact of fires and cliinatic factors can also be considerable. 12 XX XX XX The issue of "carrying capacity" is contentious/'--- even in the African context. Indicators of carryii7'_c,~.V:"««.._ capacity could be irreversible deciines of favoure_d"'tree_~ ~ A' species of elephant and/or dispersal of eiephantsrfrojrn. their normai home range or habitats. ._ Unfortunately the conceptifl "ii population " management is iargeiy missing} from then managieimenytyy concepts in India. There is an urgientineed'an_t;e this and bring about a more pi'ag.nj'atii:t.. approach? to conservation management--..".7 _ 7 8.3. ELEPHANT?-lABITAT$':; X On status ._«_.|1é3_bit'ai:s,,'V_th'eV report reads as hereunder:

.v0ve}»-t time,' _ iéieiepijant habitat has been shrinking due 'toyconversion of forests to non-forest " gse':,.j"'('i.e, forests' private and revenue land, reserye_vfor'est.s__ diverted for developmental activity A or For example forest cover in Kodagu has'_t-ieclinéeiniom 2566 km2 in 1977 to 1841 km.2 in 1997, more than 18% loss in a span of 29 years (C. _uI:'ioi.iard,V"" é000 Transformation and Degradations of Forests, in Ramakrishnan, P.S. Chandrashekara, u;M., Eiouard, c., Guiimoto, c.z., Maikhuri, R.K., Rao, 13 K.S., Saxena, K.G. & Shankar, S. (eds), Mountain Biodiversity, Land Use Dynamics and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Oxford and India Book House, New___ Delhi, India). Habitat has also became increasinglyH_'*._ fragmented through such activity. Increasing':'2_"~,. human activity in elephant habitat (e.g. .-hieavvy' traffic on forest roads; human presence) _is"further, " hindering their free movement;"and"use_ of habflat Fragmentation of habitat results creation of habitat patches____uthaigvmay "not be adequate to supportifthe elepb.an_t"..ypopulation contained in them. Given Vitheiriklrge _h:orn_e.Vranges and resource requirements he-me" beyond a single habitat%,'pat,t:h§V This could res,uit.'in--t~h'e creation of pocketedipopulationsif, or .l:i'C,oulations' that move between habitat :'p_at'ches __ use areas during their movement vbetween habitat'-.patches. In both the cases HEC will be seyVer'e..Tand- the long-term viability of the < ._Velep_ha~:n ti popula tion' is. compromised. = " 'fragmentation of habitat are largely driyen by"_"_p_o'orly planned development or illegal acti'w_'ties.'.l'1t~tegrated land use planning and more "effective law enforcement should be able to V) V' ':'i»mitig.ate"this problem to a large extent. ' "In addition to loss and fragmentation, the habitat

-has become increasingly degraded due to biotic 14 pressure from surrounding human populations (e. 9., over--grazing by cattle, fuel wood collection,;"v. anthropogenic forest fires). Invasion by exotic weeds: like Lantana, Eupatorium and Parthenium has;"aisoj_~ degraded the habitat significantly. Lantanahas. in aggressively invaded large areas»~o:_f_ g the thus reducing the palatable forage:-.aviailable"---fo'r'f-._!Kt in wild animals. Forest fires (largelyoft.gnthrop'ogAeni;: " A' origin) that reduce dry season. fodder and 'alsorrr suppress regeneration also contribute to. A {habitat degradation (Daniel, etaI;;..g_198'7)._" to K Fuel wood collection gnlinimized when local people shift to alternate._sources of fuel. A very good. of such__a shift is in Bandipur NP where 'Namnra S-'araghal' has"nf:anagedV"toV'wean away more than nearlyWV190 villages along Bandipur._NP4'boundaiyAbyV"supp_lying LPG. The sustained efforts needed and vkproblems that need to be overcome to" executeanld maintain such a huge = ._Vund:f,értal§ing are rnany.,....hut this is the direction we need to move in.v..$irn.ilarly cattle can be reduced and seliminatedg. if fal.ternate sources of livelihood that enhance thejstandard of living are given to people. Weeds need to be tackled in a very serious "jmannerpin the short term critical areas for wildlife . 'neednto be cleared of weeds. Unscientific and in hearsay information that indicates weeds as being 15 beneficial or that they are an integral part of the evolutionary process should not find place in management. Given the small patches of habitat we'.-2, have remaining for wildlife and the small populations _.of endangered species, there is little room for errors ;'tiia.t;._'__b' . it could undermine existing conservation efforts. If at 'a.__latier.: vi" date data can be found to support"have' weeds in our forest, it would not take greajt f reintroduce them. For the moment We "need wori: towards minimizing weeds.

In addition to size,-,._. the ,.s::.a'_;";e of theflhlsahitat patch also has a bearing on itsvvhsuiitability as an elephant habitat and presslu;-¢. that is exerted on it the surrounding'~.h_umari«population (D. Boomina_than, __T. jj«'.4bzr;-_{"é}2d A. Desai, 2008. _':'co:nflict'h_"vVinV Somwarpet Sub- Division:"(Madii<eri' :Ebrest'Vl'Diyision). Report WWF~Asian Rhino and '=.Elephant "Ac-.~:q"r.~--._ Strategy. WWF -- India)). Poorly ..shapuéd_.vhabitai: patches become unsuitable ._as ._':g"elephavnt Ahhabitavt, because they cannot enconipassianv entire intact home range without 1 csignificant. of it having been converted to human usehsiantl they have almost their entire area

--V exposed to 'inhuman pressures as no part of the ' : ''habitat'm'a y be beyond human reach (Boomlnathan et ,,,}?-'.V_2£}08). Bannerghatta NP is an example of such an

-- area. it 16 8.4.1. HUMAN-ELEPHANT CONFLICT (HEC): The report further states that Human-Eiephant (HEC) is a major obstacfe in the elephant cohservatioh " result, the retaliation kitling of elephantsws' increasingjiiover t.ime'~.. due to the increase in socio-economic".as'piratior1s._'of being.

8.4.2. RETALIATIOI%!;::4_l*EILL_3:IiN:(i: ELlil5HxANTS: With regard to th'e__reta'i'i'ation"k.i:i.!ihg. elephants, it-is reported that::_. 5lT:_i._-;'. ' ' ''Retalia.tion it gienieraiigiivithe last resort for farmers, and Vivitif-».,origingates ' from severe HEC situationsagthat' the means of local farmers to res_oive..'b)r'*their own efforts. So the first V. ste_p'5wou'idVvbe to"p.u_t__in place proper HEC mitigation and then use strict law enforcement to .en.s_-ure norjetaliatory killings take place. A Thereifisi also a need to improve the capacity K V 44 2_of veterinary doctors dealing in such pastmortems rirthatis they have the specialized knowledge in detecting the exact causes for death in elephants. _'V"PoI.ENErz.éL HARM:

3.7 All relevant samples should also be collected for' full and proper investigation.

8.4.3. ELEPI-{ANTS FALL vzcrm TO Pow;e~ti--_L;i_l§'5Est' AND EXPLOSIVES:

In addition to retaliatory 'elep'hants,V elephants also fall victim to .lj:aov:oer¥linesVAM" it explosives set for wild pig. De,-'5re~d_ation 'crops'hy5w.zild pigs is a serious problem in most'xareas. As~.there3 islvnolll real effort to protect pigs,_.farmels protect. their crops by illegally tapping "electrig:ity:j_gfi'o'r'njth'e~ mainline or use explosives hidden food' __'§'<lll pigs. Elephants become*-unintentlonalfiiictinwsA vvhen they come in contact powerffences; these lines are set at jest grolundgand elephants can easily step"ove:fji,theun&:."As"stlch :t"is"only accidentally that elephants ' with them. Similarly explosivés__ hlddenlVin'--food"items (e.g., ragi balls and wheat_balls)h"are set for pigs but elephants become accidental victi"ms___vvhen they come across these V 'hilt'-enis to eat them. The explosion severely and tongue and can even break the jaw."--eElepilajntst:sually starve to death after such injciries.-gfl -

ll..ol'4:sss.4..4. V'"'.BUILDING AWARENESS ABOUT 'me 20 and Williams et al. (2001) support this view and clearly indicate that all elephants in certain populations do not' raid crops, only some do, thought in some regions of the = country as in northern Bengal all elephants may :p..;ii;ige.'_* -5 in raiding to varying extents (Sukumar, Roy, Baskar/an al. 2003, Study of elephants in the" '3.uxa~fJaldatparax Reserves, West Bengal. CES, IISC, Bangalore Males have a greater propensity to raid average in more intact habitalts._'e'(.Sui<umar,Ai1983). Dispersing males may ~encouh'tere_: ' jagi*ic_ulture "when establishing their new home"h'ra.ngesf.antl"alsoiearn to raid crops through their associa.tion.s o'ther:..:;4rop raiding males. Males are'~..:agl;<;o bletterclablehhh'tfi_~gagtplfoit degraded areas around" hi:in*}:a.n';'. use ._are_as.." clue to their solitary nature avnd'lvb.ece2use7fof ti':eir--.large*r~bo:dy size. This could bring them intoVVgrea.te'iV'rconflict with agriculture. However, "in. _a--rea;s Where severe compression of elephants" into nlsmavllenhabitat fragments occurs, the Vresultant'Ilhighvgiensities or high levels of habitat loss and would affect all elephants in that area and then"*Vallv A are flikely to be affected adversely and cons'eque'ntiy"all are likely to raid crops (Desai, 1998). " g .. 4' K 21 8.6. DEARTH OF STAFF IN FOREST DEPARTMENT: The report further reveals that there is dearth of staifiin the Forest Department required for elephant con:sery'~a_ti'on" and the same has to be attended immediateiy. 8.7.1. SHORT TERM AND LONG TEiRMmf:AsuiaEs: A The report atso provides recommer§dat'i_o.ns and long-term measures.

8.7.2. SHORT TERM M__EASURESif.._ As a short-term measure,""ii: is re.c¢.r;.mena¢a as follows:

(i) i

(ii) To pay"reasonabietzornpensationw both for the crop Qdanaage aind. human injury, which shouid be made ¢g=§ediVtio_us|y the Deputy Conservator of ""Fo'rest.s",* would avoid distress among the oférop damages and human injury.

(iii) Th'e.VfaVei|ity for mobility should be increased. ACf{iAvji"»,Loca| voiunteers shouid be engaged in the "surrounding viilages to deal with the human- elephant confiict. A,..s--~:,.....3:_2 \ E, 22

(v) Flying Squads in the sensitive region should be provided with the wireless equipped vehicle, arms and ammunition.

(vi) Wildlife laws should be strictly enforced.

(vii) NGOS should be engaged to create awaren.ess_)'*waVVnd.i.:'

(viii) Efforts should be taken to maiiritainthie('habitat elephants.

8.7.3. LONG-TERM MEAsuR'es:-

(E) Providing of EEephan_t§p;)ro<-if aVnd.yhigh voltage electric fences;

(ii) Introductjoriri' barriers a 'phase-d V rnainner;

(iii) changer'ivEi,'»Vi;ro;§pihg:'patterniiwV

(iv) Integrated'w,_i|"a.nd--u'se'"<"planning in elephant landscapes;.VV'V._ A ' V " _(v) $<'PoAp.ulati.on rnariagement; and ._(vi)_. strengthening and capacity building;

9.) '--Thereafter. the matter was adjourned to 9.4.2009, on " gydateiidr; M.R. Naik, the learned senior counsei and Dr. ~..,.,..:_"y._."=.:'V-»._"¢.'H.i'{3a'ss£i;)panavar, Retired Forester and Wild-Jifer who were to assist the Court, submitted that the report dated »,,.u._,,,/_(_m -

23 11.3.2009 filed on 12.3.2009 referred to above, does not refer to the directions of the Supreme Court made in connectionwith the protection of elephants. Hence, the matter adjourned to 13.4.2009 to enable the Government~as..iivei'i*0~as«Mr.0' iVl.R. Naik and Dr. C.H. Bassappanavarito ti-ieifia'«ve..' report.

10.1. On 17.4.2003 the :.."_C3o'\ie_rnme'nt-.. filed a Comprehensive Action Plan protection of elephants and other .wildivife 0' 10.2. The as hereunder:

Ci'overnniérrt- ,Ti(a_:Fhata-Ira is fully committed for the cohservationof-eiejihants and other wiidiife and p_roposés a action plan as per the directiohs~ of the._iionj'bie Supreme Court and the flvhrecohvmiendahtinhs of various committees constituted to study the »,orob}'em.

Go.verr§;*hent of Karnataka has duly implemented the directions of the Hon'bie Supreme

0. .'Cni.rrt some of which are listed below : Constitution of Wildlife Advisory Board - .._Government of Karnataka has in the recent years 24 constituted the State Board for Wildlife headed by the Hon'ble Chief Minister. The State Board for Wildlife was constituted on 17~06~2006 under the Chairmanship of Sri;'"--. H.D.Kumaraswamy the then Chief Minister. A meetii2g..:"'<--._l"'- was also convened on 19-07-2007. Recently the__State'_~ ~ A Board for Wildlife has been reconstituted on 02:03";d'I-PVl?VV00:9'flVV. 0' f The meeting of the newly constituted. Wildlife.'_lBoard-twill" be convened shortly.

Appointment of honorary-~..Wildlife £y'ai"&"e.A'fi.$"'-.-.-'VVV Government of Karnataka has be'en._:regularly-abpointing honorary wildlife wardens.~.__ Theiatest older ap,ooirIting . honorary wildlife wardenswasissued}on'*.22.¢02+.2007 and o2--os~2oo7. _ ' Wildlife 'Sect-ion. '21 --; V'l"inai""notir'ication - Government of'lfi'arnataka.'has issued final notifications for all the 5 national parks.aind'2.t"wildlife sanctuaries. .~'?e-noitififfatien Protected Areas -- ._vGove'fnrnentVvM_of Ka'rna.taka will follow all the procedures laid foiitiie de-notification of any Protected Area. "*'WildlifeV:F'(Protection) Act ---- modern arms to Forest Guards ~ A total number of 570 arms with 'V"«.__V"'ammuniiti_o*n have been given to the forest officials. This f'inclu"des 342 double barrel guns, 129 .315 rifles, 11 25 pistols, 11 revolvers and 77 latest slide action guns procured from the United States of America. Number of forest officials has been traine'd"l-nj_' use of weapons from 2005 onwards.

Live Stock immunisation - Immunisatlori. of c'at'tle'inv._g and around Protected Areas is done regularly to prevent it it any breakout of communicable""diseasesV to the 'riwild... animals from the domestic cattle;~v.._'h'8'2V688" 'cattle: were immunised during 2008-09..V_in various:'i°ro'tected Areas of the State. A list of cattlé the last 4 years. _ ' Registra:'tiorif:é§;)f weapo_ns Duringtthe last couple of years the__ District'V"Administra-fiong and local Forest Officersfarel letters seeking permission of the Chief Wildlife 'Warden. fo.r'"u_ing of weapons licence. Chief Wildlife Warden after verification is either permitting or rejecting these 'r'e{:';uests.w Action also will be taken to ~.see.the.._old licenced weapons with the people living 2_V0vKms;'~--yradlus from the Protected Areas will be A 'done _the:'next 6 months.

Transfer of land -- As per the directions of the .0."-._VVV"i-long'ble Supreme Court on 16-09-2002 prohibiting the "_ranst'er of land for the next 50 years except by way of K" tttt 26 succession within the sanctuary, the necessary instructions will be issued to the concerned departments within 3 months.

Government of Karnataka has initiated a num_i:jei* . . '4 actions to protect the wildlife in the Sanctuaries like" anti, V" i poaching camps, elephant scaring,...camps,"mcreating" barriers, special force for tiger protection,.emjploymen--t of f tribals, inter state border meetings at :'various'v_*levels, etc.,. It will be seen that in futorethese initiat*ives.,_will 'be. enhanced to see that wildlife is properly protected,' I In continuation of me_asa;ires"V--aglready taken as per the directions of the l-lo.n"ble Court, Government of _ Karriataka proposes~.'.'th_e 'following short term and long.t'.errnj}n_easu«res in a.«t.r'n*ze bound manner to reduce the-Vman'¢elepeant"eonflict'aswell as to protect the wildlife in the State.-~f'_V " i 10.3. Dr.'C,__H.VvBa'ssarppan'avar, Forester and Wiid-liter also fited an Action Plan on and the retevant portion of the sairne ..reads h.ere'un_der:

he 'Pian to Mitigate Human-Elephant

-, Conflict at _ThzevA:ctian plan is to help mitigate Human-Elephant conflict through effective management practices,

- incorporating scientific 8: technological inputs, supported

-by professional knowledge, dovetailed with dedication and 2'7 accountability. The Asian elephant is since facing severe

-threat due to natural causes and human inducedf concerns, the following are the important suggestions-gin' random order that need defining directions -1- Hon 'ble High Court of Karnataka:

1. Elephant Conservation is synoifiiymto Conservation that is reckoned in recent--_times,' as an V' K antidote to resolve global warr'nin"g'._and climate Hence, elephant conservatioVn»e.._ V' assurne..sf" ' global significance.

2. Wildlife management» is 'Va'; scientific discipline; all vpossible protective measures needfto __tal<en conflicting factors than attemp5ting:""to'V. remedial V measures after disasters' are '"lil<e elephants and tigers.

3.Ensure_ lllnterco'nVnectivity of island-like potential habitats by insularvcorridors that help socialisation with ,b_populations'v---and maintain healthy gene pool among wiidiifeh. _ '-4.'Bring'."g:lnVA',:=total ban on growing palatable crops & tobacco ..__"in~. -ieco-fragile area around the parks, by V'-» alternate crops: castor, cotton, Niger, etc. if » mih'iCh, is non ~pala table.

5. Make crop insurance, a mandatory in eco-fragile if "areas around the reserves, with the participation of {H-""~""'_',", ~ ~-..

_ Committee;

28 department of agriculture, followed by timely settlement of compensation/claims,

6.Need to provide farmers Coal for tobacco barns under subsidy by Tobacco Board to weanA4":thern"~.t:"' is away from entering forests for firewood.

7.Need to specify time limit offal...

compensations/claims towards; crop 'damage, {human injury/deaths, by the Forest/Wildii.fe"departrrienfs,.,

8. Money generated eco4tourism"}'s._used to"n'iake park self sufficient to man'ag'e,. facilities & share at least 1/3_of it tobetter li.vin_g of local communities, Officer' 'as'*"j_to, V_'__"muster their participation__..'n co_n§e.r;.ratiair._pi*o_gran;)fne. .

9. Toufist fillocatz-Id-just" adjolining national park boundaries --.n'eed"Vtof-bet uprooted and relocated beyond 5 km fromtbvoirlers,-._asfgper---,.dic£'ums of Indian Board for Wildlife Preservatioi: Aa_nd~="VProject Tiger Consultative «VAIO. 'lEnsu_re placement of trained anti~poaching weaponry, through State Police Academies. 'deal with hardcore criminals. Squad Persotnneialbe provided with special hardship perks and if t " ,:oth;3__r facilities.

Appoint trained personnel in wildlife l Management and Wildlife related laws to deal with crimes, 29 followed by prosecution in court of law, in action to manage wildlife and their habitats in a professional way. They need to improve personnel capabilities and bring4inl=~__t._V_ accountability in personnel management.

12. Need to empower Forest, Wildlife officials with more legal teeth to deal with " offenders and to pronounce summary"~punishment} though ban on trade in wildlife .sl<ins,"i_vo:'y andliother it body parts are imposed, black malrlrets still thrive 'vvi'th''' ' penalties too small and rewards too. Vgre'a't.._g

13. Farmers having ' - 'encroached forest land without patta....need'-to,"live with elephants in n.=.»~rni;;;§iy (as tribals to live for ages). Encou-rage.__fa:rm1ersover_'to_improved breeds of milch..cows_ 'stail--feeding facilities.

14. l' _En'cour~age 'i»'ied research involving universities*--__ and x"research'}. institutions by providing fellowships, set..,aside for the purpose. This is one field 'll"'«..requiringf,_big investment, because in the absence of research data, it is a truncated management. * 1.5. ' to boost funding by the Government to pres'erve.__'inva«iuable biodiversity resource, i'n particular the Welephaht and the tiger. The country/state is in a position V' to t'oe.t the bill of biodiversity conservation.

16. There is urgent need to relocate tribal "'communities out of PAS, so as to keep the habitats free 30 from anti--elephant communities & to bring tribals on main stream of human society as per approved scheme of the____ Government of India.

17. Field staff patrolling to protect forests__w?_ealtl'§_',:' -1~ and wildlife and so also officials managing natlona_i'parl{s~ and sanctuaries, along with their vehir;les'shall~'ha\_/e exempted from general/local election duties'; ..

18. There is need to 'i'nitiateA'v- brain~storming... exercise to proclaim unlawful" like--- poaching, poisoning, electrocution, ~snaring"" Cf": K,-lléphant/big' cats coming under Schedule I of VWildlifeif-(firoltection)_Act 1 972, as heinous crime.' '

19. Neiéad 'i.nte:1"rc(€2nnectV po'ten'ti'al areas (PAS) with insulated corridors- to4"faci,litate elephants from island like areas tolisocialiseeVyvithflistant herds. This could be done to startwith anal grac_lu=.3,ll'yj_. expanding region-wise to start with,L(izl., all soui*héifn states--Maharashtra, Goa, Karnajtaka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh. jlvaed to have Interstate Coordinating southern states headed by concerned' Fo-restl 8: Environmental Ministers, who meet once"-.yea_jrly,~.followed by Heads of Departments & Child W.Wi/dlife" illlardens, who may meet twice a year to discuss V' '..fpolicy..,matters concerning wildlife, environment & forestry including upkeep of frontier lines. The committee shall Htalre stock of elephant herds that may spill over to ;"'"'"f 32

24. Government of Karnataka need to take immediate action to form a High Level Statutory Body-3"-.9 "Advisory Body For Wildlife Conservation" in Karnatalca with needed statutory powers to advise the __;stat--ej_~ Government on all important policy matters inci;idlng.. % elephant and tiger conservation and to monitOr."theV"action" . taken there on, as per the direction oiiithei-Stiprenjefourtf-.,___ A of India.

25. Last but not the iileaist, efficie_ntl-vviidiifelll conservation management ré_qriir'es effective "Management Plan" for "each or {theu"'pro:te*:jted areas, incorporating available techinoiogical data inputs, previewedmby specialists/scientists":'before it is

1. II sanctioned by..ti'--3.e 10.4. Mr.' "i'~'i...iiégz,"Na'ii§::,~~.lea.rr'ie'd flSe'a"*.§AO'i"% Counseé brought to the notice of this=._COiJrt decisions of the Apex Court relating to the viliiidfiie Plrote-Qtiorii

1. _ [I992 suiiivpgiz) sccims];

A < TARmg:i "BsHARA"F.__S:ANGH, ALWAR v. UNION OF INDIA v. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS [199si(*s)_'scc 7599];

..«.i_'_C.ENTRE,lFOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ---- wwI= INDIA v. .i.iNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS [(199s)9 sec 623]; 33


and also the directions given by the Apex Court time in the case of CENTRE FOR ENVIRON!lI!EN'3l?:15i\LV.l.::I!t.tili wwr-' INDIA v. UNION or INDI.A~~.A2~l[}"m§T:§¥l,E§S4_'_}'on._V 22.8.1997, 7.11.1997, 16.1.1998, 20.3_.A1'Q98,~._:"1,7V.?V.i'l9'9t3:,~.. 13.11.2000, 31.1.2001, 16.9.20'0n2l;..,.,,28.'4.2003;,_fl2i2l;a..2003, 3' 5.09.2003, 22.9.2003, 7.11.2003,°]3%..9.2.20f04,--.,,,15li4.2004, 23.11.2005 and 16.12.2005. if if 10.5. Mr. Araldncl' K.r.:'n1"ar'.:V:, Solicitor General, submits would provide all possible supb'o'rt'--to population in the State of Karnataka and «tVhe_VCenVt'ra.i4V also would take effective steps Vvprote'ctiVon__. of elephants even in all four nei'"'=n_amely Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Keraia :--"g_and Tarni.i'---.lNa'd'u.,"'vo»l<ing the power under Section 38 of the Wildlife Pram-c=t:,o;'12 "Act, 1972.

2.-iV¥r. Udaya Holla, learned Advocate General, ft}iliapipmng behalf of the State as well as assisting the Court, 34 placing reliance on the report dated 17.4.2009 and Elephant landscape dated 11.3.2009 submits that the State of Karnataka would make all sincere efforts for conservation of elephantsand to prevent any unnatural death of elephants. Advocate General also undertakes that themstate_wou.i'cli.rr1'a:ke_a!l:it '~ efforts to remove encroachments in the ._forest'--_area restore the forest area. . V V V 10.7. Dr. c. H. 8assappa'n'év§:' submits'ii: that the Government as well as the :;;f.rjAt£lri_>shovv all sincere concern for conservation of... protect the elephants 's'ug~g'ested in his report filed on 17.4. 2009::;'._vvhi'ch "above.

11. Vvllewlllhave careful consideration to the sLijbr'nissio'ns~ mv:ad.e. Sr--i------«'Aravind Kumar, Assistant Solicitor Generaiiflsrci Advocate General, Sri M.R. Naik, 7'vV'--E.enior Advocate;'VlSri.'N. Ravindranath Kamath, Advocate, Sri S.S. fljiaveri, Advocate as Amicus Curiae, Sri P.M_. Naik, Advocate for C.l-i. Basappanavar, Forester and Wild~lifer, in the V' 'loftheir respective reports referred to above.

M." .,...'(~< 35 12.1 The Hon'bie Supreme Court, in TARUN BHARAT SANG!-l (supra) appointed a Cemmittee consisting of____ the authorities of the State charged with the duty of enforci'n.cjj««..the" statutory measures and some experts in the Chairmanship of a retired Judge. The _t.ask_pf primariiy is to ensure the enforcement of the orders of this Court and to"l_p'reyentA"-dev.a_statio.h"~»oftthe environment and wildlife within the p_rotiectedLarea';' 12.2. Again, in the caée'm:2.AoE:E;iP "i<::'t[:us:iii.=3N (supra), the !-lon'ble Supreme cetijrt,has_"'e}hphaeized_ thezjhinding force of Articles 48-A and.~51':A@;.';'of'the:'CoVnstit'utionmon the State and a citizen to pvroteet the national wildlife of the country.

'*3.2.'ase.':'1n--.'-QEMRE EORENVIRONMENTAL LAW -- WWF INDIA (supra):,.the from time to time has issued the Cfoilowingi directioris/guideiines: H M' t44j.C.f'22...3.1997-

_ A perusal of the affidavits that have been filed " on behalf of the States and Union Territories shows that mini some of the States Wildlife Advisory Boards have either ,..»«-»/ ., 36 not been constituted or where constituted earlier and after the expiry of the term of the Board, that was constituted, there has been no reconstitution of the Board. In the States in which Wildlife Advisory Board has,-'''--_ not been constituted or where the Board had earlier been constituted, but the term has expired and the Board lies"-fro. .. not been reconstituted, necessary steps should be__tal<enf_* " _;. to constitute/reconstitute the Wildlife Advisory Board' '- within a period of two months. , __ .

3. As regards the appointment of Wildi'ife'«_Wardens, is _ we find that in some States Wildlife":.Ward'ens i:ave_ not " been appointed at all, while in some "States ,v1'ildi'ife Wardens have been appointed'for--.some"areas but have not been appointed for other areas, It. is directed that"1the concern State/Union Territory shall'tal<a necessary steps to appoint Wildlife Wardens for,a"l'i *th'ese'=.areas Within a Period of two months. ' - - *

4. xx xx

5. As ;'regard"s"dono'ti}?catioi:_ any area which is included in'h.ctuary'iVational'park; it is directed that before'g. ,the::,. weproposal "before the Legislative Assembly, the"c'o.ncerned.<State_ Governments shall refer the proposals to 'the, tInd"ian'*-- Board for Wildlife for its opinion and the proposal 'sh__aii«.b'e placed for consideration before the 'Legiislative Assemvbly along with the opinion of the Indian Bo'ard'for. Wildlife;

In order"--to«"effectively control the growing _ Vilicresasepoaching in the sanctuaries/National parks the Central 'vGov_e.rnrnent as well as the Governments of i'Sta«tes/Llnion Te-rritories are directed to ensure that the forest guards fin the sanctuaries/national parks are prov-ided_.~m_odern arms, communication facilities, viz., 'V wirelesssets and other necessary equipment in this '-regard. Necessary steps for that purpose shall be taken V " ,wi't.*iin six" months.

3'7 7.11.1997-

4. In the affidavit filed on behalf of the State of Karnataka, it is stated that Wildlife Advisory Board has been constituted but the date of the constitution of the} Board has not been mentioned. The learned counsel the State prays for one week time to file an affidavit,»___' 5 indicating the date on which the Wildlife Advisoryfloard S" was constituted.

Xx xx xx

10. As regards issuance of proclamation under V' V Section 21 of the Act, we find from the affidavits., filed. on behalf of the States that in the e.ven_t of the States ' proclamation has not been issuedt'.'n respect of the National parks and sanctuaries,_.the" " State Governments are directed to take the necessary_ steps in that regard. The same shall be done within twoi--,month's, failing which contempt proceedings will have tofbe initiatedagainst the State concerned. * V' "


9; In thie.jStatet':.oi' Karanataka there are five national parks and -I9 sara.ctuaries,__bu.t'the affidavits that have been filed .on«.behalf of the ..Sta.te, no information has been furnished withilreg'ard"'to ..issuance of proclamation under section 21 orthe' issuance ofthe final notification.

2. _régards the State of Karnataka, an affidavit i3een._tlle"d_which shows that the Forest Settlement 'Offic.ers"'.h,ave .been appointed and ten weeks' time is sought for i.-1-'siiihg the proclamation. Time prayed for is allowed. ' , '<__17.7.1998*:«.

" ,_ 1. By our order dated 20.3.1998, ten weeks' time _ granted to the State of Karnataka to issue the . necessary proclamation. No body appears for the said State to indicate as to what steps have been taken nor S "has any affidavit been filed. In the circumstances, notice ff' 1 \ 38 for initiating contempt proceedings be issued to the Chief Secretary to the State of Karnataka. Personal presence is dispensed at this stage.

12.4. in ESSAR OIL. case (supra) the apex courtgilhvvhiie emphasizing the duty and obligation of the state angi_'"cit--i:e.n__V5tQ:_ _ protect and improve the natural environment heid.a~s.--foliov¥i:s:«.g " "25. ...Article 48-A or the Consti£<Utic?'i7inovviiiziroi/liuvé that the State shall endeavour to protect' and improve. environment and to safeguard theforests. and h the country under Article ~A(g),_Y?toA'i:1rotect and improve the natural environment;ing§V~ fore.sts,"«lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for.~iivinfgcreatures.

26.f""C'ertai;t7 pif*incip:'es*- wereenunciated in the Stockhoim --.Declarationi 'broad parameters and guidelinesfor thehnf sustaining humanity and its environment.'-.Of' these parameters, a few principles are extraetedi'whichiliareof relevance to the present debate. V h'VPrinVcipleE"R2 provides that the natural resources of the 'including..aii'--, water, land, flora and fauna especially representative samples of natural ecovsystems must be safeg-uarded~. «lfor the benefit of present and future V'~.generat.'on1s through careful planning and management as if appropriate. In the same vein, the fourth principle says: "man has special responsibility to safeguard and wisely manage the heritage of wildlife _§"':

39 and its habitat which are now gravely imperiled by combination of adverse factors. Nature conservation including wildlife must, therefore, receive importance in planning for economic developments.

2?. This, therefore, is the aim, namely, to bafancfev,'__i' economic and social needs on the one hand.__"with.: environmental considerations on the »..other. _'But,"*:in» V sense all development is an environmental» { Indeed, the very existence of ghumanityfand raml it it increase in the population together with consequential.. demands to sustain the population._has resulted in the concreting of open lands,'~~..cutting" dobwnuniof forests, "the filling up of lakes and pollutio.rrioi'waVt§er and the very air which we breathe..._:Howeven&"'thete' need not necessarily be ;a"de_adlock'velopment on the one hand the other. The objective of allllaws environment should be to create harmony'_,b'etween 'th.e 't.w'o-.,,:since neither one can be sacrificed a't,_thev aitarrbr' 'other. This view was also taken; by this xclourtin Indian Council for Enviro-Legal «.._Action '[5. Union 'offiidia where it was said: _ ' « f'W,hii:=f economic development should not be ' ._allowed__to, take place at the cost of ecology or by _. 'causing widespread environment destruction and violation: at the same time the necessary to preserve ecology and . development and environment must go hand "in hand, in other words, there should not be development at the cost of environment and vice versa, but there should be development 40 while taking due care and ensuring the protection of environment."

13. In this connection it is apt to refer Sections 21,,.._29, 33A and 34 of the Wiidiife (Protection) Act, 1972 hereunder: /' "Section 21. Proclamation by', Collector,-':4AA"h.en a notification has been issued' under._Section 'the. l' Collector shall, within a periodo'f'~sixty days, the regional language in every and village in': orlin the neighbourhood of tire areabflbconfiprised thereirifa Proclamation» it b V'

(a) specifying, as nearly '-as possible, V 'situation and the limits the sarictuai-y; - ' 1"'pg§i'son,'._W'claiming any right m.entiorie.dv._giniSection 'J 9, to prefer before the 'Collector, 'within _t'wo months from the date of such» proclamation, 'a written claim in the prescribed -._foi:m,'...~specifying the nature and ' 'V textent-of such 'right with necessary details and . I the particulars of compensation, if any,» claimed in respect thereof.

_ 2_9_-3, Destruction, etc. in a sanctuary prohibited V-Vigvitfwout a permit,» No person shall destroy, exploit orlremove any wildlife including forest produce "from a sanctuary or destroy or damage or diver the _ V~[f.'1abitat of any wild animal by any act whatsoever or _ divert, stop or enhance the flow of water into or outside the sanctuary, except under and in accordance with a 41 permit granted by the Chief Wildlife Warden, and no such permit shall be granted unless the State Government being satisfied in consultation with the Board that suchfktg removal of wildlife from the sanctuary or the change the flow of water into or outside the sanctu_er_y'''i'sV.'V:'----., -5 necessary for the improvement and better manao_e~ment" of wildlife therein, authorizes the issued? such permit."-V V Provided that where the forest pro_du::_e is removeci 99 K from a sanctuary the same may .be~.used for nleetingfithee personal bona fide needs of therpeople liv'ingin arid around the sanctuary and.'shailmnotljgbeiised for' any commercial purpose"

Section 33~--_A.. 1 m_mujjnisa'tibn_<'offlivesta:;~{§k. --( 1 ) The Chief Wildlife_.l}.'.iarofe'n»_ shall take such méaéures in such manner, as may. be prescribed.' for immunisation against commusnicablel disease.s of _the_ livestock kept in or within five kilometres of

2). No persVorl~shall- take, or cause to be taken or any.__livestocl<' a sanctuary without getting it i'mn7'4nlSedi 34;.V"l2egistration of certain persons in possessio:?«5'of arms: (1) Within three months from the declalration of any area as a sanctuary, every person 9' residing in or within ten kilometres of any such 'sanctuary and holding a licence granted under the Arms Act, 1959 (54 of 1959), for the possession of arms or 43

15. It is enough, man expioited and plundered the natural resources up to the hilt, probably, to meet the growing dernand and its ever increasing popuiation without caring for _ effect on account of his action on the environment,».«a'S~..a"«~resuit,g° the eco-system has met with untold dai':nagr2i.rf for the environment alone but it is more for the humaV'n',_ibeing_s:; way of shortage of fresh air, pure watergetc. it

16. The non-maintenance of en,\}'ir:onrnventt and ecology has a major impact on_,ti=.e valuge of_"biofdi.v'_ersi'tvi, The term 'bio- diversity' is comn<1oniy.,u'seid_ to~:_r~ei°er,_v«ari«etyV_of life on earth.

17. place. It is used to describe the in a particular habitat or to show range 'ty3peA"'ofi'organisms found there. In other word's,VEii*o:¥d»iVersity "" "be defined as the total number of species'.a.nd* thet gven_e_i;ic variability within each species and it is :'{°"n'othingA and variability. This further leads us to " "l.~1i5iea}'i2»eA the impiortance of the habitat of the organisms. 'Flabitat is a place where an organism iives, which %""'v.__lprov'Id'es suitabie food, shelter and ciimat ic condition, so that , 45 important to maintain bio-diversity in order to ensure the existence of at! organisms, unless an awareness is created among the public at large, as to the maintenance -'ofw.'f'i3io*--_ diversity.

21. Bio-diversity is not only vital forth'e'p_ro«per' fu:'nc_tio'niVngl."'. of the eco--system but also for the very su'rvivaAl of '~ The unthoughtful human activities ho''u:s"threat to the sustainability of bi'o.:oiver's'itvV...'jgaricl_ manteniance of environmental eco-system. variety of species - plants utmost important factor which environment. It helps in maintaining favo'iirable"ajn.dlsta'b.l_e"~conditions in the environment.

22. Forests treasure"s of bio-diversity. They bring stahiiitv in.the'i'ienvironrne'htand suitable conditions required for sustaisnaiqieviiejrivgironmllent. The trees in the forests prevent Er,:"desertification_.ario,- the forests thus reguiate the streams that ""VfiQ"£M_;V"'NhECh "inV__Aturn have significant connection with inland and 'V.pVma--ri'ne 'fisheries. On these rivers and streams the local people tle*penvd_5for their food and habitation. But, what threatens bio- 46 diversity is the deforestation, illegal felling of trees, encroachment into the forest area beyond necessity, of course, to a certain extent increase in the live-stock population '~,i:I:'1'<._'t'h~e forest, killing of wild animals for food and hunting, 'V'

23. As the population of human it has resulted in the threat to bio-diversity. grasslands, which are rich resources..,_6f._,wild" animVaiis,'"are'iibeing " gradually cleared off for agrir;uzltura,li-pur_p.os'e_andfor setting up industries. Clearing of natural_" large scale destruction of bio-diversity. population and unthoughtful ,.----act.ivities°1inferf,sE*i_ort--<term'§ gain and economic development is thema'in._ca.u"se_:for man and wildlife conflict in the biosphere.

vIt""iis;,_'trueAthatflenvironmental resources are linked with econ'o,_ni'i:T_"acti~vits,r'.'*.__VThe economic development is meant to "»im,prove*t_he Ieveldofl living. The living standards are measured

-jby.,,a'v,aiiabiiity of basic needs such as food, shelter, education, ':..'h'ealth", .,sanitation and social practice. Therefore, the link it ixbetwleera the economy and ecology cannot be ignored. But, /ea -M._ g .


(ii) Environmental Protection Act, 1986

29. It is true, many animals are considered sacred; many piants and animals are adopted as natural symbols and heritages. Of them, Elephant is considered to be more among Indians.

30. Indian elephant, 'Elephas ,'*.,_iAs con_sid'evred'V "Keystone species" of the Indian jung--l.e's~l.becaus.e 'of"'.its"i.overall influence over other animals andthelvreconsystenn. The"'ele'phants foster forest eco--systems and :'Vto.,:_ll"mai'n'tain healthy environment most essential foiif hiImian4.,As'u'r'vi,v'ai"V;' The elephant, therefore, assumes::V€sign:i:flcance~ so far as biodiversity conservation is c'oncern'ed.' :fl'--he"---e'leip'hant, the inseparable entity of the bio-diversity" v,v'o'ri<.'s as an antidote in regulating the climatic ch"a'nage§f Th_e Inidllan elephant, which stands tall and commancls_r-"s%ign:i.ficance, is facing threat of extinction. l'v!_-iélnce, the jud£~ci;awiAactivism has come forward to rescue "'tnefcougntryis...ioiodiversity and her environment and of 'to. rescue the wiidlife, in particular, elephants and ..h,a_!5itats in this suo motu proceedings. .4 gm, .. ,, deems fit and necessary.


9. Vani Ragavendra Pal, Potoli, Joida Taiuk

10. M. Jadegowda, Asst. Prof. Forestry College, Ponnampete

11. Pratap Singh Nayak, Belthangadi Taluk f. The Principal Secretary to the Government of Karnataka, Forest Environment and Ecology Department, Bangalore, ' "

g. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, ,. _ Member " » .. h. The Principal Secretary/Secretary to f M Mernt2er,.. Government of Karnataka, Social Welfare, A S' " ' Department, Bangalore 'S _ A ~ i. The Managing Director, KSTDC, Bangalore. _ " Member ' j. IGP, Forest Cell, Bangalore ' _ _ . S' ._ =«.f--Member 2 ' k. A representative of the Armed Forces not below» Member the rank of Brigadier as nomin'a.tec'.._ by the 7 Central Government V ' = l. The Director, Animal Husbandry and Ve_terirra_ry Member Services, Bangalore _ " -.

m. The Director, S Department' x_of._ 'Fisheries', Member Bangalore , i' 3' _ ' ' n. An Officer, assnoiiliriated. by? the Director..._...-- Member Wildlife Preservatiflmj'. New-.p'eihi I V o. A representative of the 'Director, "Wildlife Member Institu.tei'of--I_ndia, Dehradun '' p. A reprtesentative of the Director, Zoological Member "Survey-,of'--India, Kolkota _ ' q. A representative of the Director, Member Botanical 'Survey of India, igfiolkata r. The 'Principal' Chief Conservator of Forests Member (Midlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Secretary ' ' _ Karniata-ka, vvBangalore""

f.EVea'rned Advocate General, however, fairiy "',;-subbmits that the-.(73overnment is prepared to incfude additional thbe State Board for Wildlife, whomsoever this 52 32.1 The report filed on behalf of the State Government before the Court also endorses the short term and iong term measures proposed by the State Government, which hereunder:

"The following measures have€bee_n tcfi tackle the man-animal conflict sitiiatian arisen due to increase of elephant"presence.'*--.V it 1') Habitat Management,' V " A It is found that the'[.habltat:v l'ors:"lelephants has shrunk over the A past fewidecades r'or.'au._'j_ntimber of reasons. It is proposed tab rernove..Vlnvasive"weed species like Lantana,'_'Eupatoriurri-and Parthenium in the Protected Areas invvoliving the others. Certain research organlsatio}-*.s_' whoVVnave'.don'e work on Lantana / invasive weed5'eradicati'on_ 'will be involved. Deslltlng of water «.,_holes"/ ;_tanl<s whxere~-~~--necessary as well as dibbling of »ban?boo,V_san«dLaivseeds will be done. In the next one year A"wo'rfl_<_' wii'lV4start.xjan:d the Government will earmark around Rs; .25 lakhs E;-ivzthis work initially. 'g_ii) Immiiirlsation of Cattle:

~._In the next one year a programme will be chalked .' 'oiitito immunlse cattle with the help of Veterinary Dept. J-"""""""\' 32.2. SHORT TERM MEASURES PR0PQS§_§e--.:(VI:N'~V;Ii~!E~§ 53 and financial support from Government of India and State Government.

iii) Maintenance of Barriers Elephant Proof Trenches and Solar fencind' has been done across the Mysore Elephant Rese:rve'.----..:it»'i's.. ' proposed to repair at least 50"/oj» of _these__ ~ wherever they are found to be ineffective.--._An amotmtv of " Rs. 50 lakhs will be earmarked tor't-he repair worl<*._ A A

iv) Providing for elephant soaring. and elephafint driving = As of now V there _are elephant scaring camps :11 teams. ifhesefarewAiribposititml during the peak crop da.,q5ageIf:_iseason,_A'normally 'uptof harvest time and fruitingiseason i.e,' November, December and Juijie',m.iLl'l-,3: Tlze"elephant'scaring / driving will be stre'ngtl--2eried"v'afrrdj"ad:flitiona'l 'camps provided to the financial 'extent' o'f_'VRs." so as to facilitate the elephant drivingV'opVerati'ons;' "

" _v) Hiyirrg Sqtiade--------« * .._be done on experimental basis by 'H-."~ta'tionin'gi'"_t.h_ree'"vehicles in Mysore, Chamarajnagar and Bandipur~arejasi at strategic locations. These jeeps will be provided 'with watchers ammunitions, crackers etc., and it wi:'l__be led by a forester. These squads will move to the 54 elephant movement / damage. An amount of Rs. 30 lakhs will be provided for this activity.

vi) Law enforcement In the next three months a meeting concerned Officers / Officials with relation law enforcement will be held for a co-ordinatedxapproachgii ' KPTCL, Revenue, Forest, Police and 3 Departments will be made to work togeither toiaddress '' this problem at the field level.

vii) Creation of awareness V _ Help of NGO's, l'?le_di:--3 and lo'cal_'»leaders will be taken to create awareness on the 5manV--afrlim'al conflict issue. This wouldébe .done"lnV'the¥next:'sig< months in all the

viii) £}iéplo'yn§;ent« vé;aii¢y'p¢si§ioij .__'wildlife wing has been a cause for 'c=o4ncernV.' The Government will take steps and see titat this sl'tuation improves. In the next nine months «._it w.lll"¢been seen that-----et*least 75 guards 25 foresters and R-FO"5_:wI' to mitigate the existing problem. Al'-Nine time" is required as 250 Forest Guards who have been"ill%e:jently recruited are undergoing training 'V which willflbe completed in nine months. V " r '_ Itvwill be seen that the cadre of Veterinary Doctors will. be created within the Forest Department with 55 Veterinary Officers. Assistant Directors / Deputy Directors in the next six months.

ix) Capacity building In the next one year staff at various level from Deputy Conservators of Forests to the Forest Watcher w,iil7.._ be sensitised on 'various issues of the man~anirnal con.flit:t:' * ._ '2 as well as dealing with public.

x) Translocation of elephants: ._ Translocation of elephants requires,"permission"fol Government of India as per,.t$ection,.i'2 of ,e.Wildiife Protection Act. Proposal for perrnission to translocateavvééb" elephant has already has been Governrnentfiof India on the basis of Appaiah-.fVtJesaVi' --«ccm'mittee report. There are about 20 elephantsiisolaited inhi'i(owdag_u Hassan border which are4cau_sing.'ektens.'ve crop and loss to human life feniyears. It is proposed to shift them to 'either Bhadra'._|iVildlife «Sanctuary or BRT Wildlife Sanctuary _Vba.ndipurA'.Nati_onal Park. The leaders in the herdrieed to be" radio collared before translocating them, "so "as :2»: study andwmonitor their movements. This 'ope'ratio'n,ewiili. be-_done in the next 12 months with the support""of_*_v.Goyernment of India, Wildlife Institute of India, Institute of Science and other connected 'x_Wildlife organizations / experts.

A C: ~._Ex---gratia payment to affected farmers P if Presently it is felt that the amount paid towards ex- gratia is inadequate. It will be seen that these rates would 57

i) Reducing Biotic pressure it is very essential to reduce the biotic pressure on the forest areas so that the bio diversity is preserved,' This could be achieved by

a) LPG connection It is proposed to provide connections to the people residing' villages adjoining the forestV'».._ar6;al.. 'a distance of 5 kms. This;vyould"*be"»--doneg.t§.},< ° providing 80% subsidy for"*~..the ini_tial--._ connection. These people vy_llli"hav'e_v to payfor the refills. It is ;._4_p~:opcised: give sooo if connections in the ne)tt'flve~--y'ears¢.g:

b) Solarenergy V' _ 'V _ Solar':lantern--s stre_et'x'lights would be gtile'.--people"fiiiving in the .ianterns will have a SLlbsldy of solar streets will be given' ifreev,of'cost.._ It proposed to cover 200 _; vi'i'.'ages inrthe next five years.

It' willialsol be seen that long term

---stti4dles«..o'n.._the effects of grazing and on the fire will be started with the support A of well 'known institutions.

a ' list) .ln.£egrated land use planning _?.--'Forests with its wildlife are natural heritage and l need to be preserved for a variety of tangible and " "intangible benefits. But there are a number of enterprises 58 which have a major stake for their existence. Some of these are i) Mining ii) Quarrying iii) Resorts iv) Hydro power projects v) Wind mills vi) Roads and highways. In the coming years we hope to bring ojut"'a§_~ integrated land use planning guidelines which will p'r*ovi'de~». F" the basis for runnin enter rise usin "this scares'and' threaten resource keeping in mind the alreadyi.,existing'if--..__ it directions from the various Hon'ble Fl-.w'Aig'l'2 courts and Supreme Court.

iii) Barriers The past experience withF'.-Elepi:antfjProof Trenches and Solar Fences has been_a_ resp'onse§V._'flVhere ever they are maintained 'they§._have:',.i'1aclAavl' reasonable success in preventing 'fro.'_n'c:om.ingj out. is seen that in many places piec-pie haveclosed"thehselbarriers either to come inside tot' to let their cattle into the Protected Area}}4fter_'la._o{etailed discussion it was decided to train permanent fences which require very low mainten'ance using 'discarded railway lines. These railway 'F V' "vlines....v§iill_b.e used as ba'rriers in two or three rows. It may cost bet--ween'..R'sv.40-50 lakhs per Km. as the iron railway lin_es__are'vt»ov.b_e purchased in an open auction. We may do upto_V100 In the next five years.

it " " 3 4." ' --- ]ivL)V. Capacity building F' H Forest staff will be trained right from Forest

-in/latcher to the highest official in the next few years with bringing in a 'law.

59 both short term and long term courses on conflict resolution. Training will be both' within the country and outside. Necessary budgetary support will be provided mainly by Govt. of India.

V) Crop insurance The issue of providing subsidy to, the__farrr_jers" . their crops insured could be discussed.gawith..the concerned A , g departments like agriculture, l~lorL"iculture, 'a_.nima'lV husbandry etc., and possibility 'ofj_c;eVtting"'crop insurance... done will be decided by the Govt. it

vi) Cropping pattern' it It is true that elephants .to.I'_pri.vate crop lands as they find:gghighlytinutritious"food concentrated in one place. SpeC.ially"_crops« like sugarcaizefbanana, rice, ra9i, cocormt. 'Will. iiniitiate discussion with a concerned departihcenét'to"see~..if some sort of a guidelines are put upiace palatable crops are not cultivated next-toA'the«.pirotected areas. If possible it will bfieii seen that :whether this is legally feasible by

-vii)' 2 V ..Management '' ,__"ViManag:ef:7ient of populations of wild elephants will _ be done only after a thorough study by research institutes girlie. gulndian Institute of Science, ATREE, wcs, NCF etc., the rogue are being killed, but for a long term ' elephant conservation what ever interventions that need 60 to be done to manage populations will be taken up with due caution.

33. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 was enacted bythe Pariiament to provide for the protection of wild anirna.S;VVV:'ij_ir.d_.s and plants and for matters connected therewith_nr'V_"anVci:!A.i.ary or incidental thereto with a view to ensurepfhétecoiocjicai._;fandpVi' environmentai security of the Country:

34. As already seen, Articielyiél'-$3-AV of"t*h.el_'Constitution provides that the State shall ----en*d.eaivourl"to_'protect and improve the environment and to'~th'e torestsV'a.ndV"wildlife of the country. casts a duty on every citizen of India" to pvrotecti-ii.a-nu"-~i_rn'p'rove the natural environment including ff:;'i'ests,4"4"Eai._l<es,A'and wiidlife and to have a for creatures.

to the various provisions contained in VV'.:~ytVhe.Wildli"Fe (Protection) Act, the empowerment on the State under Article 48-A and the duty cast on every Articie 51.--A(g) of the Constitution of India, . (iii)_»i v.[r~(iv)i'r.


37. Accordingly we pass the following order: (5)

(ii) The Report and the Action Plan--Elephant Landscape dated 11.3.2009 filed on 12.3.2009;

wildlife proposed by the..~~State;.'_' and} Comprehensive Action Plan Zion ._--'ilrlyuman'~~El'ep'h'aint. Conflict Mitigation' (scientific report) ijfiled 0' on 17.4.2009 by Dr. C.H.'-.._il3assap",_. v°r.e't'irecl Forester and Wild-lifer, arei_t<T:1VV§<é%r_1'o_,n re<.:ord._ The State Government- sh_ai'l.lV'ivim'p.l'emlent the short term measures'd in _paragra'p'his'8.7.1, 8.7.2 and 32.2;_"(sii;p,.ra) as per':th'ei:'actionfp|an proposed particuglarlyg-.,zariti Csha-ll,' "c.o__rnpl'ete__ the selection and re:rruitm'eri't., up the vacancies of staffs and fly'i.n'g.isqua.d4s,_. within three months from the date "of re'cei'p.t ofthis order.

'iifhe_.lAState 'G<'Jve_rnment shall also implement the long 'term, measures mentioned in paragraphs 8.7.3 and as per the action plan proposed by the i""State'Gcvernment within a period of six months from u"the'--'clates of receipt of the copy of this order. This Court further deems it fit to include (1) "the Member Secretary, Karnataka State Legal Authority, (2) Member Secretary, High Court Legal Services Committee, Services Bangalore, Comprehensive Action Plan dated 11.3.2009_;fil--eciiV'o_rj , " 17.4.2009 for conservation of Elephants and fithen _, (V) The Board so constituted shall hold (Vi) 64 to the Green Bench for any further directions, if necessa TY.

meetings as arid when required and at ieast"o-n'_cv-ei in three months.

As and when required, the Bo=ard,_iszalso at to approach this Court, for arp,p'ropriate_"_; fuvrt'her, ' directions in the matter. V

(vii) The Press, Electronic mediaor any persorifwho ' r-{vgiiiy come across the" "Eit!-~tr--eaftn~zent,.':l_ death of elephants orV.wilcilife~~ w.hjatsoe'-1_er,"'aré.{at liberty to bring the" n'ot:ice*~vof.5the Member Legal Services Cornmiizteégiisgtsg.mi:>er:,l_"'S.ecre'tary, Karnataka State Legal', Services:Authority, to take appropriate action ire. the matter;'..« €30-y--errivment"sh'a'i'i'take appropriate steps as to the

--preye~ntion'.._of raising commercial crops like '"'--._i:'3aniaén'a.,_ Eiugarcane arid Maize, nearby forest area A"'««and__v"thAeAState and Central Government shall frame and implement appropriate crop-pattern AA "policy for the lands in and around forest area, in order to avoid human--eiephan/t,,,;:§f)__gf|ict. \ / , r 5 2 K