Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy also observed that persons who exploit the elephants should be dealt with as mercilessly as they treat the animals. The court made the remarks on a PIL moved by activist Rangarajan Narasimhan against poor and inhumane treatment of elephants owned by Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple and separating them from their mahouts.

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Consider prohibition of private ownership of elephants by temples and individuals, Madras high court suggests

Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami with Srirangam temple elephant Aandal when he visited Trichy in January.
CHENNAI: Taking a serious note of exploitation of captive elephants at the hands of their owners and caretakers, the Madras high court on Tuesday suggested that the Tamil Nadugovernment take a policy decision to prohibit private ownership of elephants by individuals and temples.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy also observed that persons who exploit the elephants should be dealt with as mercilessly as they treat the animals.
The court made the remarks on a PIL moved by activist Rangarajan Narasimhan against poor and inhumane treatment of elephants owned by Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple and separating them from their mahouts.
According to the petitioner, as per Rule 4(4) of the Tamil Nadu Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, an elephant must be maintained by the same mahout and cavady (mahout’s assistant) during its entire lifespan except when they are under inebriated condition or in prolonged illness.
But the temple authorities had given a complete go by to the rule and sacked the mahouts of elephants Andal and Laxmi that were maintained by the temple for no justifiable reason and appointed new persons to manage the animals, he said. This has put both the elephants and the devotees under risk, he added.
Admitting the plea, the bench directed the forest department to file a report on the availability of appropriate rules on maintenance of such elephants and why such rules were not properly implemented in 10 weeks.

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