High Court direction to Karnataka government

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday directed the State government, the Forest Department and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to evolve a scheme to protect residents of Bengaluru from the menace of monkeys and to ensure that they are driven back to their natural habitats in a humane way.

Noticing that a scheme was evolved and implemented in NCT Delhi on the directions of the Delhi High Court in the case of New Friends Colony residents Vs Union of India during 2001-07, the court said that the scheme to address the issue could be evolved based in directions issued by the Delhi High Court.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj issued the directions while hearing a PIL petition filed by B.S. Radhanandan, a city-based advocate.

Pointing out that several residential localities in the city are experiencing frequent attacks by groups of monkeys, which come in search of food, the petitioner has said that residents and their welfare associations were unable to get help from civic authorities to overcome this menace but were forced to seek help of unauthorised persons for trapping these monkeys.

Claiming that monkeys found in and around Bengaluru are Bonnet Macaques, which are a protected species under provisions of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, the petitioner has stated that inaction on the part of public authorities to address the menace has resulted in unauthorised persons and agencies taking up trapping monkeys as a business.

The petition has also referred to newspaper reports on how private monkey trappers demand exorbitant charges from residents, and instances of killing or inhumane treatment of trapped monkeys.

The petitioner sought directions to the authorities, on the lines of the Delhi High Court’s directions, to evolve a mechanism to protect residents from the monkey menace on the one hand and to take care of monkeys as per the law.

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