Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bandipur Night Traffic ban hearing on Nov 4, 2009

Though I had been visiting the high court for the past 7-10 days, I had never had the experience to sit through a case hearing. So, when I got a call from CWS that the Bandipur case hearing was coming up that morning, I rushed to the court. I met Poornesha, from CWS, who had also come to attend the hearing.

The hearing was in Court Hall (CH) 1. This is located on the 2nd floor. We checked the list of cases that was listed outside the hall and noted that our case was listed 75! Wondering how long it would take for the court to reach till 75, we nevertheless took up our seats and got engrossed in the various cases that were being heard. Except for the odd case here and there, most of them were adjourned and our case came up at around 12pm.

It seemed like this was most prestigous case being heard that day. From the respondents, there were 8 advocates and there was our lone petitioner!

Some of the arguments put forth by the respondents were:
- Alternate roads are not good enough and vehicles reaching bangalore were coming in late.
- As per the RTI information from Muthanga, there have been no roadkills in the past 1 year.
- The photos given by the petitioner have no supporting documents to prove their authenticity.
- Convoy system should be allowed so that a win-win situation can be achieved. This can be trialed for at least 1 week to check for its effectiveness.
- The DC cannot implement the ban under Motor Vehicles Act since it is applicable only for public convenience and safety.

Against the above, the 2 judge bench including the Chief Justice Mr. Dinakaran, stated the following:
- The traffic is restricted only from 9pm till 6am. If it were from 6pm-6am, then the court could have considered the request. But the current timings were good and all business can be done before or after that. People have to adjust to these timings
- All impleads are from people point of view. Someone has to consider the point of view of wildlife and the court is doing that.
- The question is not only about roadkills happening at night, but animal behaviour is also affected. Hence, even convoy system is not advisable.
- Under the Motor vehicles Act, traffic is not being prohibited..it is only being restricted.

Further observations and conslusions of the High Court:
- According to information received from FD, animal movement has improved during night.
- The court is not convinced to vacate or modify the ban
- All parties have to submit authorized copies of traffic regulations implemented in protected areas across the world.
- The next hearing will be in 8 weeks time.

KANS: Laxmeesha Acharya
CWS: Poornesha H.

Laxmeesha Acharya
Kenneth Anderson Nature Society



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December 12, 2009 at 3:22 AM  
Blogger Sanjeev said...

Thats cool dude. Nice to see that someone is taking the wildlife's point of view. Look forward to updates on this. cheers

January 28, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

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