There may be a thousand issues meriting attention but everything cannot be entertained to make the Supreme Court dysfunctional, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said on Tuesday while declining to hear an interim plea on the deaths of captive elephants in Kerala. “These are local issues which may be dealt with by the high courts. If they make an egregious error then we are here to correct those errors. But you know … how can we run the country,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra said.
“What is the role of the Supreme Court in the nation … we are not to deal with these, you know, micromanagement of issues which arise all over the country. If the high court commits an egregious error we are here and will correct the error,” it said.
Senior advocate CU Singh, appearing for an intervenor, at the outset raised the issue of deaths of captive elephants in Kerala, violation of rules and sought an urgent hearing.
“More than 135 captive elephants in Kerala died due to neglect, overwork between February 2019 to November 2022,” he said.
The bench asked Singh to approach the high court with the grievance, saying the judges there are aware of the local conditions and the ramifications.
The Chief Justice was irked over “proliferation” of interim applications in pending cases and stressed on the need to understand the role of the Supreme Court.
On being insisted that the matter be heard in the top court itself, the bench said, “Now we cannot entertain everything here to make the Supreme Court dysfunctional.”
“We are of the view that it will not be possible to entertain such IAs (interim applications). The intervenor may be heard on substantive issues when the writ petition is listed,” the bench said and listed the main case for hearing in December.