Elephants are equal to human beings: Court
December 21, 2006
JAIPUR: In a landmark judgement, the Rajasthan High Court has placed
elephants in the same category as human beings and awarded a
compensation of Rs.599,440 for the death of a pachyderm in an
accident in 1988.
The court in its verdict on Wednesday treated the elephant as
a "living creature equivalent to a human being".
"The court ruled that the owner of the elephant should get a
compensation of Rs.599,440," G.K. Bhartiya, counsel for the owner,
said on Thursday.
He said the court ordered that the owner, Saddique Khan, should get
the amount from the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in Jaipur.
Earlier, Saddique had challenged the contention of the New India
Insurance Company that the animal could not be treated as normal
livestock. The company said it would not give more than Rs 2,000 for
the dead animal.
"We objected to it and went to the high court, which has given its
ruling in our favour," Bhartiya said.
The elephant was hit by a jeep while it was on its way to Amber
Palace in October 1988.
The Motor Accident Tribunal of Jaipur which first heard the case
awarded a compensation of Rs 290,000 to the owner as total claim in
August 1993 with 12 percent interest from the date the claims were
This amount was to be paid by the New India Assurance Company, which
had done the insurance of the jeep. The insurance company went in
appeal in high court against this order of the tribunal.
The high court enhanced the total compensation after adding interest
from the date of filing of claim petition.