Madras High Court unhappy with CBI probe in elephant poaching cases
January 12, 2022
The Madras High Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not having made much progress in the
court-ordered investigation into elephant poaching cases. It wanted to know
why the investigating agency had not even recovered the ivory tusks.
Justices V. Bharathidasan and N. Sathish Kumar directed the Superintendent
of Police concerned to appear before them through video conferencing on
January 21. They also called for a status report and warned that the court
would be constrained to constitute a special investigation team if the
report was not satisfactory.
“We want action. We are going to record that we are not satisfied with your
investigation. If you are unable to do it, we will form an SIT. What is the
difficulty in seizing those materials? Is this the way the CBI investigates
cases?” Justice Bharathidasan asked before summoning the Superintendent of
It was a Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh (now a Supreme Court
judge) and Justice Kumar who had ordered a CBI probe into the issue on
February 10, 2021. The judges had passed the order after being dissatisfied
with the action taken by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to investigate
into the offence.
Apart from dealing with the issue of poaching, the court also granted time
till January 21 for the railway officials to file a report listing out
steps they propose to take to prevent elephant deaths in the light of
Comptroller and Auditor General’s latest report that railway deaths
constitute the second largest reason for unnatural death of elephants.
Since railway counsel P.T. Ramkumar informed the court that the officials
had planned a meeting this week on the issue and required some time to file
a detailed report before the court, the judges asked him to ensure that the
report was filed by next week.