The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to inform it about reported deaths of tigers in the country.
A bench of justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna sought the information after taking note of newspaper reports about tiger deaths.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Anupam Tripathi in 2017 seeking to save endangered tigers whose numbers are dwindling across the country.
”Though the petitioner is not present, respondents will ascertain about reported deaths of the tigers in India. List the matter after three weeks,” the bench said.
According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), India lost 1,059 tigers since 2012 with Madhya Pradesh, which is known as the ‘tiger state’ of the country, recording the highest number of deaths (270).
On January 27, the Centre told the top court that there are 2,967 tigers in the country spread across 53 tiger reserves, according to a 2018 report.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati had told the bench that lot of work has been done for the conservation of tigers and increasing their population.
The top court in 2017 had issued notice to the Ministry of Environment, the National Board for Wildlife and the National Tiger Conservation Authority on the plea which had also sought relocation of people living near tiger reserves.
The petition had said tigers were being killed either by poisoning by locals or the authorities, shooting by forest guards or by poaching.