This article on ‘A critical analysis of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972’ is written by Kalpana, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
India is a country with different varieties of plants (flora) and creatures (fauna). It is a region that contains 10% of the world’s species. As per the IUCN, India represents 7-8% of all species, including plants and creatures. With huge developments supplanting trees the whole way across the world, the biological balance is imperilled, possibly bringing about an assortment of horrendous disasters.
Regions that were once abounding with various kinds of creatures are currently fruitless of them. India’s wild creatures are quickly diminishing. Many bird and creature species are wiped out in our country, like the Indian aurochs, Asiatic cheetah, and pink-headed duck while others, such as the Bengal tiger, Asiatic lion, and Indian rhinoceros are endangered.
In any case, this isn’t the only main concern we have. As humankind is developing their homes in the woodland regions they are not just gambling with the flora and fauna of that area yet, in addition, their own life. In the wildlife protection act, 1972 we have the provision for the wellbeing of the creatures yet there is no provision for the security of a human who is assaulted by a wild creature. So in this paper, we will analyze both the bad and good aspects of the wildlife protection act, 1972.
WHAT IS THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT, 1972?
Wildlife is characterized as the animals (fauna) and greenery (flora) of a specific area in general. In different terms, wildlife incorporates all non-tamed creatures, plants, and different things found in such regular habitats.
The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 was supported by the Indian Parliament on August 21, 1972, and became effective on September 9, 1972. This Act was passed to shield greenery, avians, and types of creatures. The Wildlife Protection Act is a wide rule intended to shield wild creatures and plants. There were not many national parks before the entry of this Act.
This Act gives regulations for the protection of plants and creatures, hunting, reaping, and an assortment of other related issues. It has six schedules that are stretched out to each edge of India This Act likewise lays out a few kinds of sanctions for infringement of the provisions contained in that. This Act is partitioned into 66 sections and six schedules.
NEED FOR THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT
Wildlife is an essential ingredient of “forests”. It was considered a state topic until the Indian Parliament laid out this regulation in 1972. It is currently a Concurrent List topic. The following are some of the reasons for national legislation in the realm of the environment, notably wildlife:
- India is a territory of diverse wildlife. Numerous species were seeing a sensational drop in the populace. For instance, Edward Pritchard Gee (a naturalist) expressed that around the beginning of the 20th century, India was home to very nearly 40000 tigers. Nonetheless, a 1972 registration uncovered that this figure had been considerably diminished to around 1827. Hence there was a need for some legislation which can protect such species from being extinct.
- A sharp decrease in greenery can bring about natural irregularity, influencing numerous components of the environment and the climate. Therefore to avoid ecological imbalance this kind of legislation was required.
- The latest Act enacted during the British time frame was set apart by the Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act of 1935. This should have been improved since the assents allotted to poachers and dealers of untamed life things were unbalanced to the colossal monetary benefits they got.
- Prior to the enactment of this Act, India had only five national parks and there was a need to increase this number hence this Act was required.
CASE LAWS RELATED TO THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT, 1972
State Of Bihar vs. Murad Ali Khan, Farukh Salauddin & others 1989 AIR 1
In this case, all of the three accused hunted an elephant and transported it on the tusk to the Lucknow. They were charged under the wildlife protection act, 1972. The SC held that the transport of the tusk was a crime and the accused were punished as per the provisions of the act. The decision of the court was in accordance with the act. Hence, this act set an example for all the poachers not to indulge in such practice.
Kamla Kant Pandey vs. Prabhagiya Van Adhikari and Ors. AIR 2005 All 136
The question, in this case, was whether the State Government was justifiable in terminating the petitioner’s mining lease and prohibiting him from shipping minor minerals from the Kaimur Wild Life Sanctuary, which is located on a stretch of the Vindhyan plateau. In this case, the Allahabad High Court declared that the state government has limited jurisdiction in this subject and hence must review its judgement in accordance with the terms of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
M/S. Ivory Traders And … vs. Union Of India And Others AIR 1997 Delhi 267 b
In this case, the issue raised was whether the transportation of ivory from the wildlife sanctuaries was legal or not. The argument raised by the petitioner was that there is no provision in the wildlife act which restricts the individual to transport the ivory from the territory covered under the wildlife protection act. The Delhi HC held that even if there is no provision in the act restraining one from transporting ivory from the forest, there is a provision for protecting the elephants as it is an endangered species. Therefore the act committed by the traders was illegal and were punished for their crimes.
A few initiatives must be carried out in order to reduce such assaults by wild animals on humans.
- Amend the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1882 to include a compensation clause.
- Various precautionary measures should be implemented in order to separate or build a divide between humans and animals
- Government assistance is required for humans to live near forest regions.
- Maintaining a fence near forest regions helps to protect both wild animals and humans.
- Compensation clause to provide amount categorization for various accidents resulting in the death of people, animal losses, agricultural losses, environmental damage assets, and so on.
India is blessed with a plethora of natural resources. It has diversified flora and fauna. These treasures must be protected and preserved. For the same purpose, the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was passed. Several changes were made as a result of the Amendment Act of 2002. This Act protects a wide range of flora and fauna against illegal poaching, killing, and trafficking of wild animals and plant species. This Act is divided into eight chapters and has sixty parts.
This Act gives both the state and federal governments the authority to designate any location as a sanctuary or a national park. Any activity taken under these categories is subject to a variety of restrictions, and staff is assigned to monitor the actions. Any activity taken under these categories is subject to a variety of restrictions, and persons are assigned to monitor the operations carried out under those categories. Many trade and commerce prohibitions are in place to put a stop to illegal enterprises.
This act promotes wildlife protection, conservation, and preservation. However, this statute fails to address the human-wildlife conflict, which is a highly sensitive topic. The revisions must be included in the legislation, and the issue must be addressed in the act.
- Bakshi, G. K. (2021, August 4). The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and its impact in protecting wildlife in India. Ipleaders. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://blog.ipleaders.in/the-wildlife-protection-act-1972-and-its-impact-in-protecting-wildlife-in-india/
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 – UPSC Notes. (n.d.). BYJUS. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/wildlife-protection-act-1972/
- Vyralakshmi, G., & Dhivya, R. (2018). A CRITICAL STUDY ON WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT, 1972 WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO COMPENSATION. International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, 120(5), 2285–2297. https://acadpubl.eu/hub/2018-120-5/2/197.pdf