The Supreme Court restrained the Tamil Nadu government Wednesday from transferring the district collector of the Nilgiris, where several resorts operating without approval in the elephant corridor area have been sealed without the apex court's prior permission.
The apex court said this after it was informed that there was a possibility that the district collector would be transferred for allegedly complying with the court's order to seal or close down such 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.
Advocate A D N Rao, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, said that the district collector has sealed several resorts as per the directions given by the court.
"The collector is likely to be transferred due to the stringent action taken by her in pursuance to the court's order," he said.
"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 top court had in August asked the Tamil Nadu government to seal or close down 27 resorts operating without approval in the elephant corridor of the Nilgiris area.
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 as to how constructions had come up in elephant corridor of the 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.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)