The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre and the state governments on a PIL challenging the creation of tiger reserves in the already existing national parks and sanctuaries by bringing amendments in the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
A Bench of Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and Justice CK Thakker issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Tiger Conservation Authority and state governments on the allegation that provisions incorporated in this regard diluted and repealed
some of the salutary provisions of the Act. The PIL filed jointly by NGOs, Bombay Natural History Society, Wildlife Protection Society of India, Wildlife First and Conservation of Action Trust, has objected to inclusion of new chapters, namely IV B and IV
C, for the establishment of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Tiger and other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau.
Advocate Raj Panjwani, appearing for the NGOs, contended that the new additions in the legislation diluted the existing provisions which were specifically incorporated for the protection of wildlife and its habitat.
"Co-existence of humans with large carnivorous wild animals is a myth," said the petition. "Conflict between the two is the reality, a reality which is reflected in the ascending graph of the number of fatalities on either side."
They say the law, which insists authorities ensure "the agricultural, livelihood, development and other interests of the people living in tiger-bearing forests or a tiger reserve", could mark a new low in efforts to save rare wildlife. Wildlife activists
say the law was rushed through parliament without proper debate.