The Court of Appeal has issued an interim order restraining the Department of Wildlife Conservation from registering 15 elephants which were ordered to be released by a Magistrate Court.
The order was issued after taking in to considering petitions filed by the Centre For Environmental Justice and several other environmental protection organizations.
The petitions were filed seeking an order to annul the directive issued by the Colombo Additional Magistrate to the Matale Magistrates to release 15 elephants which were taken into custody of the Wildlife Department for not having necessary permits.
A group of owners of elephants had also indicated to court that they want to file intermediary petitions over the matter.
Accordingly, the Court of Appeal Bench informed all factions to submit written submissions and objections over the request before the 13th of October.
The environmental organizations alleged that 15 elephants held under the custody of the Department were released back to those accused of illegally capturing them from the wild and keeping them in their possession under fraudulent documents and without registering them in terms of the provisions of Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.