HC junks plea against Anant Ambani’s wedding at Reliance Greens in Jamnagar

The Delhi High Court has refused to entertain a plea to direct Reliance Industries’ zoo and a trust to not hold Anant Ambani and Radhika Mechant’s wedding events while displaying the animals at GZRRC.

Greens Zoological, Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (GZRRC) is a mega zoo being developed on 280 acres by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) at its oil refinery complex in Moti Khavdi village, about 30 km away from Jamanagar city in Gujarat.

The high court said the High Powered Committee (HPC) constituted on the directions of Tripura High Court may depute any of its members to oversee the events scheduled from March 1 to 3 to “ensure that no inhumane behaviour is caused to the animals there”.

“We find that the present petition has been filed purely on the apprehension that some injury or ill-treatment may be caused to the animals during the events scheduled from March 1 to March 3. Such sort of petition cannot be entertained simply on the basis of apprehension,” a bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Girish Kathpalia said and disposed of the plea.

The order was passed on February 12 and was made available on the court’s website on Thursday.

The petition filed by a lawyer stated that he came across a newspaper report regarding the wedding of RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani’s son Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant.

According to the news report and the wedding card which was available on social media platforms, the dates of the pre-wedding and wedding festivities are from March 1 to 3 and the venue is Reliance Greens in Gujarat’s Jamnagar, petitioner-advocate Rahul Narula said.

The plea said RIL has direct control over Greens Zoological, Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, and Radhe Krishna Temple Elephant Welfare Trust as they are situated on the property owned by Ambani.

The invite is the evidence that they are going to hold functions, parties, events or performances there and it has given a lot of importance and stress that the Jamnagar complex has been transformed into a haven for rescued animals, it said.

“In the event if due to paucity of time the respondent no.4 (trust) is not able to file the complaint and to stop the events from March 1 to 3, interim relief be granted in the nature of directing the respondent nos. 3 (zoo) and 4 not to hold the events by displaying or exhibiting the animals in their possession in any manner whatsoever,” the plea said.

The counsel for the zoo and the trust contended that that the petition was not maintainable for want of any cause of action, it was frivolous and appeared to have been filed with ulterior motives.

The counsel argued that the petition was based on an unfounded apprehension that use of animals will be allowed in a private event.

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They told the court that Reliance Complex, Jamnagar was spread over 7,500 acres, including a 3,059 acre green belt, and is a private property not open for public events.

It was stated that a one-time private, personal and non-commercial event was being held for the wedding at various locations in the complex and there was no provision that prohibits the zoo or the trust from inviting guests to view their facilities, especially for non-commercial purposes.

The counsel said the zoo and the trust were managed by experienced vets, curators and biologists who strictly comply with all safeguards prescribed under the Zoo Rules for ensuring that animals were not disturbed. There were safeguards in place for visitors as well, the lawyer said.

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