Plea in Madras HC to rescue elephant from mahout’s wife
A public interest litigation has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to authorities to hand over an Andaman-based elephant to the principal chief conservator of forests and chief wildlife warden here.
The Bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose, issued notice to the wife of the mahout of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman shrine, the commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment, and the principal chief conservator of forest and chief wildlife warden of Chennai, returnable by two weeks.
The notice was issued on a plea from S Muralidharan who submitted that the elephant, Malachi, was originally owned by Masan, a resident of Rangat, North and Middle Andaman district.
Masan had handed over the elephant to Indira, the wife of the temple mahout on September 17, 2007 to be offered as a gift to the shrine.
The petitioner alleged that the elephant was not handed over to the shrine and instead used for begging and for parading in marriage functions, among other things.
The petitioner alleged that ever since it came from the Andamans in 2007, it was subjected to several cruelties and not maintained properly.
The petitioner said the elephant was made to walk on roads and both her front and back legs were tied using heavy chains in such way that it could not run or walk freely.
He moved the court as there was no response to his representations to the principal chief conservator of forests.
The petitioner sought a direction from the court to rescue the elephant from Indira's custody and hand it over to the principal chief conservator of the forests.