SC allows introduction of African Cheetah to India

SC allows introduction of African Cheetah to India

The top court modified a 2013 order that had prohibited it

Representative image (DH Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed introduction of African Cheetah to a "carefully chosen location" in India, on a plea by the National Tiger Conservation Authority as the animal has become extinct here.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said that a committee led by wildlife experts Ranjit Singh and Dhananjay Mohan would supervise the introduction of African Cheetah here.

The top court modified a 2013 order that had prohibited it.

"We find that in 2013, this court struck down an order by MoEF on the ground that it had not conducted any detailed study for introducing foreign species of Cheetah to India, this application presumably remedied the defect," the bench said.

The government said that African Cheetah would be introduced on experimental basis on a carefully chosen habitat and it would be checked if the animal can adapt to it. In case of any difficulty, location would be changed to more habitable one, it said.

In its order, the bench said, "it would not be desirable that this decision or action of introducing African Cheetah would be left to sole discretion of NTCA, it shall be guided by committee of experts who would carry out survey for best location and take a careful decision on viability of doing it on larger scale."