A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed that states have to stop such practice after the apex court was told that these methods were allegedly adopted in states like Karnataka, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha.
“You have to remove these things (spikes and fireballs). You cannot have this barbaric system,” the bench observed.
Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni placed before the bench an affidavit of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, which said that instructions have been issued to all the concerned principal chief conservators of forest to desist from using any such method of torture of elephants.
The lawyer, appearing for Karnataka, told the court that all the spikes that have been obtained on tender would be removed and henceforth, spikes or any other such method would not be used to drive away the elephants.
The bench directed that the existing tender issued in Karnataka in this regard would remain stayed.
It also stayed similar tenders issued by West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand in this regard.
“Wherever the spikes or fireballs are used for driving elephants, remedial steps should be taken by the concerned states for removing the spikes and desisting from using the fireballs,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on August 7.
The court was hearing a petition which has raised the matter of tenders issued in these states on use of spikes and fireballs to drive away elephants.