Following reports that the captive elephant at Srirangam temple in Tamil Nadu was made to "dance" for donations from the devotees, the Madras High Court has directed the Hindu Religious Charitable Endowments Department to file a report on captive elephants in temple and muts within two weeks.
The court gave the direction recently on a PIL by one Radha Rajan seeking formation of a monitoring committee...The court also ordered issue of notice to the Srirangam temple management regarding the elephant. The court also also the HR&CE to file an affidavit within two weeks as to what activities the elephant is used for and what steps would be taken to ensure that the elephant is not made to do undesirable activities.
The New Indian Express reported that the formation of a District Level Captive Welfare Committee would also be done within a month by the Forest Department.
The bench posted the next hearing of the PIL for November 18.
Earlier, in July this year, a bench of the HC directed the Animal Welfare Board of India to inspect another Elephant Gomathi at the Sri Mahalingaswami Temple in Tiruvidaimarudur, Kumbakonam.
After going through the inspection report filed by the AWBI and the submission of the counsel that appeared on behalf of the temple, the court in an order had said, "The temple as it is as submitted by the learned counsel for the temple is lacking funds. The question thus, would be of removal and maintenance of the Elephant. We have perused the report filed by AWBI. The Photographs and the report suggests that elephant Gomathi must be shifted from the temple."