Karnataka High Court has directed the State Government to consider forming an experts committee to study the conditions prevalent at elephant camps in the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Mohammad Nawaz while hearing a petition filed by advocate N P Amrutesh said the conditions may not be satisfactory.
As per an earlier affidavit filed by the Assistant Conservator of Forest, states that there are eight elephant camps established in the state, 100 elephants are kept in the elephant camps. However, it is pointed out that for the 8 elephant camps, only 3 Veterinary Doctors are provided. One Veterinary Doctor is attached to 4 elephant camps having 58 elephants and the other two are attached to 1 elephant camp each having 27 and 15 elephants respectively.
The bench has suggested to the state to examine the names of experts suggested by the petitioner and inform whether it was willing to conduct a study and submit a report to the court.
As per provisions of the Karnataka Forest Code, 1976 (for short the said Code ) which contains various guidelines regarding elephant camps. Veterinary Inspectors have to play a very important role as it is stated that they are the Veterinary Doctors. For every camp, one qualified Veterinary Inspector must be available, whether as a Veterinary Inspector in-charge of the elephants or a local Veterinary Inspector.
The petition has claimed that elephants are not being properly treated in camps due to issues like non-payment of salaries, non sanctioning of leaves and failure to fix service cadre of employees at the camp.