November 8, 2016
Chennai: A Metropolitan Magistrate Court here today slapped a fine of Rs. 7,700 on the owner of an elephant and its mahout for bringing it to welcome a Union Minister without proper permission.
When the matter came up for hearing, the Egmore 22 Metropolitan Magistrate also warned them that the next time they commit a similar offence, the pachyderm would be ‘seized’ and sent to Arignar Anna Zoological Park at suburban Vandalur.
On November 5, the elephant, brought from Trichy for a national convention function in the city attended by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar, was ‘detained’ by forest department officials. The function was organised by Bharatiya Jan Sangathan, a nationwide movement dedicated to the cause of social upliftment, educational development and distress management during national calamities.
The organisers said that the elephant was taken away by the forest department officials even before the minister came to the venue. “’Since no permission had been granted to display the elephant, it was ‘detained’ by the forest department officials”, the organisers said.
The elephant was ‘removed’ following a complaint from animal rights activists. Following this, animal welfare activists lodged a complaint and cases were registered under the Prevention of Cruelly to Animals Act.
When the case came up for hearing today, the owner of the elephant Sekar of Srirangam and its mahout, Annamalai, appeared before the court and submitted a petition stating that they were not aware that prior permission should be obtained. They also submitted that this was for the first time that they sent the elephant for such purposes.
The Magistrate, considering that it was their first offence, exonerated them with a warning and imposed a fine of Rs. 7,700. The court also directed that they could take the elephant back with them after paying the fine amount.