Animal rights activists say the elephant has been ill-treated

The Bombay High Court on Thursday granted permission to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to inspect Sundar, the elephant whose cause was championed by many celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan.

A team of PETA activists, accompanied by veterinary doctors, will visit and video-shoot Sundar to see if he is in good health condition.

The report will be submitted before the court on March 3.

Government claim

The government had claimed that Sundar was normal and was in musth condition. “He is in full musth condition. When MLA Vinay Kore gave interview to a TV channel standing in front of Sundar, he was 20 feet away from the elephant. We said that to the court,” additional government pleader J.S. Saluja said.

But PETA opposed it. “We should be granted the permission to inspect Sundar. We do not believe that he is in musth,” advocate Pankaj Bafna said.

Thereafter, the court granted them permission to inspect Sundar. The court also observed that the Forest Department officials need not be present during the PETA visit.

Affidavit submitted

Meanwhile, the government also submitted an affidavit before the court stating that though Sundar was at Warna in Amrutnagar, in the temple administration’s custody, it had the jurisdiction to issue orders directing it to transfer the elephant to an open sanctuary.

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