The Supreme Court said on Wednesday the Tamil Nadu government will have to take the court’s permission before transferring the district collector of the Nilgiris, where unauthorised holiday resorts in an elephant corridor have been sealed.
The apex court gave the order after it was told the district collector could be transferred for reportedly complying with the court's order to seal or close down the resorts.
A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta was also told that electric fencing and barbed wires have been removed from the elephant corridor of the Nilgiris in pursuance of the top court's direction.
"The collector is likely to be transferred due to the stringent action taken by her in pursuance to the court's order," said advocate A D N Rao, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae.
"The amicus says he has been informed about the possibility that collector of the Nilgiris will be transferred. Since we require her assistance in the matter....she (collector) shall not be transferred without the leave of this court," the bench said and posted the matter for hearing in second week of January.
The court had passed the order after perusing the report placed before it by the district collector of the Nilgiris which had said that resorts with restaurant were operating in the area even though they do not have approval for the same.
The apex court had said that elephants were our "national heritage" and expressed displeasure at constructions coming in a corridor meant for the animals in Nilgiris.
It had stressed on the need to have elephant corridors across the country to reduce animal fatalities due to man-animal conflicts and accidents and asked the Centre to come up with some "workable solution" in this regard.
The Centre had earlier told the court that there were 27 "critical" elephant corridors in 22 states across the country.