As the country continues to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a habeas corpus plea filed by a mahout seeking the release of elephant Laxmi from alleged illegal detention.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde wondered how a habeas corpus plea can be heard for an elephant. “Is elephant a citizen of India” the bench also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said. The habeas corpus plea was filed by mahout Saddam seeking release of the 47-year-old elephant.

Last year in July, the elephant had gone missing and a countrywide alert was issued to trace it. It was found by the Delhi forest department two months later. The police had “detained” the jumbo, Laxmi, along with its mahout, Saddam, from Yamuna Pusta area in the national capital in September last year.