The Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained the forest department from holding a ‘Walk with Wildlife’ event inside the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the southern Ridge here later this month.
The issues concerning the event, which included a walkathon to be held on December 9 and 10, were flagged before the court last week by the amici curiae appointed in a case concerning conservation of the Ridge and removal of encroachment from there.
“The respondents are restrained from conducting the proposed event till further orders,” said Justice Jasmeet Singh who had reserved verdict on the issue on Tuesday.
Amici curiae- advocates Gautam Narayan and Aditya N Prasad- had argued that there can be no human activity inside Asola Bhatti which is a protected zone having wildlife and the approval to hold the event was granted without any application of mind.
The government lawyer had assured the court that the decision was taken “at the highest level” in compliance with norms and the event was aimed at introducing people to the flora and fauna in the sanctuary.
During the hearings, Justice Singh had also expressed concern with respect to the safety of people inside the sanctuary, which was stated to be home to around nine leopards as well as other animals like hyenas and jackals, and reserved order after hearing the counsel for the parties.