Monday, January 21, 2008

Use of langurs to tackle monkeys challenged in court
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 16
The chairman of the Haryana chapter of the People for Animals, Mr Naresh Kadyan, today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, challenging the practice by the PGI authorities to use the services of two male langurs for tackling the monkey menace on the sprawling campus.

The PGI has engaged the services of a Delhi-based person, who has two langurs, for a monthly payment of Rs 10,000 per langur, to drive away the monkeys from the PGI and Panjab University, Chandigarh. The langurs had been pressed into service following wide-spread complaints by patients, doctors and other staff of the PGI, referring to the error tactics adopted by monkeys.

In his PIL, Mr Kadyan has stated that some months ago, he and some other activists raided the PGI and caught the owner of the two langurs and handed him over to the police post, PGI. Since no action was taken and the langurs are still being used for the purpose, the petitioner added that he had now moved the High Court.

Saying that the use of langurs for the purpose was illegal, as it was violative of the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, as well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960, the petitioner has said that the owner of the langurs had not taken any permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India, Chennai, to use the langurs for this purpose. He also claimed that the owner of the langurs had not declared about them as was warranted under Section 63 of the Wildlife Protection Act.

The petition also says that mere driving of the monkeys from the PGI served no purpose, as the monkeys then strayed into the surrounding residential areas, causing problems to the inhabitants. It prays that directions be issued to the respondents to stop the practice immediately.

The court today issued notice of motion for February 5 to the respondents.