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Elephant is human

For first time in legal history, R'than HC places tuskers in the same category of human beings, reports KS Tomar.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2006 02:23 IST
KS Tomar

Forget apes and the chimps. Elephants are now on a par with humans.

For first time in the legal history of the country, Rajasthan high court has placed elephants in the same category of human beings and ordered an insurance company to pay Rs 5,99,440 to Sadeeq, owner of a 35-year old female elephant Babli, who was knocked down by a speeding jeep on October 12,1988 near Amber fort. Legal authority Jaipur judge Harphool Singh on Wednesday paid the sum to Babli’s owner.

Babli was hit when she was carrying four British tourists to the fort. She broke one of her legs. One of the British tourists, Malinda Diamond, was injured in the accident. Babli was operated upon by doctors, who struggled with her broken bone for 72 hours. But efforts were futile.

Babli succumbed to her wounds. Senior advocate GK Bhartia moved court under the Motor Vehicle Act and demanded adequate compensation from the insurance firm. The company was directed to pay Rs 2,90,000 with 12 per cent interest to Sadeeq.

The high court judge ruled that elephants were like humans and ordered the insurance company to compensate for Babli’s death. “I will not get back Babli who was like my family, but the fact that she has been treated like a ‘human being’ is most satisfying.”

Email KS Tomar: ktomar@hindustantimes.com