See link for photo.
The High Court here has taken exception to the forest department’s poor treatment of the animal and its reluctance to release it back in the wild.
Sonu has been kept chained since December 2015. The forest department was reluctant to release him into the forest, citing the jumbo’s past of killing five persons and damaging homesteads and crops while in the wild.
The case of Sonu went right up to the Chhattisgarh High Court with a petitioner filing a public interest litigation seeking a directive to let Sonu free.
A High Court bench headed by chief justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and justice S K Gupta said it appreciated the effort of the petitioner in highlighting the grievances caused to Sonu “who couldn’t himself have invoked any provision of the Constitution and the laws to seek relief from any court”.
In passing an order to the forest department, the judges referred to Article 48A of the Constitution which mandates the state to endeavour to safeguard the wildlife of the country and to clause (g) of Article 51A binding every citizen to have compassion for all living creatures.
“Homo sapiens form just one of the multifarious species which are entitled to occupy the earth and Homo sapiens without humanism are unworthy of being called human beings,” the judges said.