Gauhati HC Quashes Petitions Seeking Release Of Exotic Birds & Animals

DY365
DY365
Published: October 12,2021 07:37 PM
DY365

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The Gauhati High Court has dismissed the petitions filed by Navnath Tukaram Dhaigude, the smuggler who was caught travelling with exotic birds and animals in Dholai area of Silchar in Assam bordering

October 12, 2021: The Gauhati High Court has dismissed the petitions filed by Navnath Tukaram Dhaigude, the smuggler who was caught travelling with exotic birds and animals in Dholai area of Silchar in Assam bordering Mizoram. Tukaram was caught with a kangaroo, 3 tortoise, 6 blue macaws and 2 exotic monkeys.



Tukaram moved the Court seeking release of the exotic birds and animals “as directed by the Additional Commissioner of Customs, NER, Shillong, Meghalaya dated 04.05.2020 challenging that the Forest Range Officer has no jurisdiction and authority to deal with exotic animals and birds”. Tukaram, the petitioner also mentioned that the matter of handling exotic birds and animals are not within the puview of Wildlife Protection Act and that not releasing the exotic birds and animals despite the direction of the Custom Department is illegal.



The Court quashed both the petitions and further said that the petitioner had violated Section 48A of the WLP Act that restricts any person from transporting any wild animal or animal article without obtaining permission from the Chjef Wildlife Warden or any other State Government authorised officer.



Further investigation into the case had revealed that Tukaram was also transporting tiger claw prohibited under the law and he had no permission letter from any official. The real identity of Tukaram continues to be under the scanner. Initially when Tukaram got caught, he said he was just the driver.



“It is apprehended that the petitioner is involved in the illegal smuggling of animals/animal articles into India from across the border and custody of the said animals are being sought to legalize the same…” the single Bench jury of Justice rumi Kumari Phukan said in its order.



The seized exotic birds and animals have been kept in Guwahati Zoo since 2020.