The Government on 5 August 2013 introduced the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2013 in the Rajya Sabha for stricter enforcement of laws to protect wildlife. The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2013 was introduced by Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan. The bill seeks to further amend the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
Highlights in the Bill
• The Bill 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 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 1 lakh rupees but may extend to 25 lakh rupees.
• 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 5 lakh rupees but may extend to 50 lakh rupees.
• 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 bill also has the provisions for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES is an international agreement that aims to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Where: Rajya Sabha
When: 5 August 2013