Appeal Court orders NOT to release Sujeewa & calf

Appeal Court orders NOT to release Sujeewa & calf

Appeal Court orders NOT to release Sujeewa & calf

Written by Zulfick Farzan

23 Sep, 2021 | 10:17 am

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Court of Appeal on Wednesday (22) issued an order on the Director-General of Wildlife preventing him from releasing ‘Sujeewa’, a female tusker, and her 04-month-old calf, to any party.

On the 06th of September, the Colombo Additional Magistrate has ordered for 14 elephants held by authorities, to be released to their owners.

Court of Appeal Justices Sobhitha Rajakaruna and Dhammika Ganepola made Wednesday’s (22) order pursuant to a writ petition filed by the Centre for Eco-Cultural Studies and Justice for Animals Sri Lanka.

The application was filed challenging the order issued by the Colombo Additional Magistrate.

The Court of Appeal further directed the registrar of the Court of Appeal to convey the order to the Director-General of the Department of National Zoological Gardens and the Controller of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage & and the Ridiyagama Elephant Shelter.

The tusker was detained by the Criminal Investigations Department as it was being held without proper registration with the Department of Wildlife, said President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena appearing for the petitioners, noting that elephants that are not registered in a proper manner, are considered as the property of the state.

He also pointed out that the Magistrate’s Court does not have any legal power to permit the release of elephants, which are property of the state, to any party.

The President’s Counsel also requested the Court of Appeal to issue an order preventing the enforcement of a gazette notification issued by the Minister of Wildlife on the 19th of August, which was a basis for the Magistrate to make the order.

The petitioners have cited Ministry of Wildlife Protection Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Director General of Wildlife Conservation Chandana Sooriyabandara, Director General of Department of National Zoological Gardens, the Cabinet of Ministers as respondents of the petition.

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