HC dismisses plea for experts’ panel on wildlife laws
New Delhi:- Delhi High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking quashing of government notifications declaring nilgais and wild pigs as vermin, leading to their culling in various states.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal refused to entertain the plea after the counsel for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change stated that the decision to cull the animals was a temporary measure.
Central government standing counsel Shiva Lakshmi said that states have reported harm to life and property including large scale destruction of agriculture due to over-population of wild pigs outside forest areas. So the Centre, in one of its recent notification, declared wild pig as vermin.
“The notifications in response to requests of respective state governments are based on ineffectiveness of available options. Even though state governments requested for declaration of these animals as vermins for three to five years, the notifications have been issued for one year only in order to understand the impact covering all seasons.
“Furthermore, the notifications are valid for the said limited period,” the Centre said.
On this, the court observed that since the notification was limited to some states and was only for a year, no order was required in the writ petition and dismissed the plea.
The court order came on the plea by one Salek Chand Jain, seeking a direction to the Centre to provide devices developed by Indian Agricultural Research Institute to farmers to keep away vermins including nilgais and wild boars instead of killing them.
The plea had said that according to Constitution, states should endeavour to protect and improve environment to safeguard forest and wildlife and alleged that the National Board for Wildlife has failed to discharge its duties.
It had alleged that following a 2015 notification of the Centre declaring Nilgai and wild boars as vermin in Bihar for a year, nearly 500 nilgai were killed in last six months by hunters “unscientifically”.
The first notification issued by the Ministry dated December 1, 2015, declared nilgai and wild boar as vermin in some districts of Bihar for one year.
The second notification, dated February 3 this year, declared wild boar as vermin in some districts of Uttarakhand for one year, while the third notification issued on May 24 declared rhesus macaque (monkey) as vermin in certain districts of Himachal Pradesh.