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Bill for stricter wildlife protection laws introduced in Rajya Sabha



Updated On - Monday, 26 August 2013

5 August 2013

NEW DELHI: The government today introduced a bill in the RajyaSabha for stricter enforcement of laws to protect wildlife including imprisonment up to seven years and conferring of arrest powers on a wildlife authority.

The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2013, introduced by Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, seeks to further amend the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

It provides the legal framework for the protection of various species of wild animals, management of their habitat and also for the regulation and control of trade in the products derived from them.

The bill seeks to confer power of entry, search, arrest and detention on any officer authorised by the Management Authority or any customs officer not below the rank of an inspector or any officer of the coast guard not below the rank of an Assistant Commandant.

The bill seeks to deal with the serious of wildlife crime such as the offence related to any animal specified in Schedule I or Part II of Schedule II or the meat of such animal or animal article, trophy, or uncured trophy derived from such animal.

If a crime of this sort is committed, the bill seeks to punish the culprits with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, but may extend to seven years and also with fine which shall not be less than Rs 1 lakh but may extend to Rs 25 lakh.

In the case of a second or subsequent offence of the same nature, the terms of imprisonment shall not be less than seven years and also with fine which shall not be less than Rs 5 lakh but may extend to Rs 50 lakh.

The bill proposes to insert new definitions in view of the amendments proposed in the Act. It provides for prohibition on use of animal traps except under certain circumstances and provide for protection of hunting rights of the Scheduled Tribes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Act has been amended from time to time. Due to emerging needs, the Environment Ministry proposed to amend the Act further

Published by: The Economic Times

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