Case registered under Wildlife Protection Act for keeping Saras Crane

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Case registered under Wildlife Protection Act for keeping Saras Crane

Recently, a man from Mandkha in Uttar Pradesh was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

He is accused of illegally keeping and caring for an injured crane (Grus Antigone) in his village.

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

  • The stork is commonly found in wetlands, and is the state bird of Uttar Pradesh. This bird with a length of 152-156 cm is the largest flying bird in the world.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 prohibits the catching or hunting of any species of animals listed under Schedules I-IV with certain exceptions.
  • Some exceptions are the hunting of a diseased or dangerous animal or bird, or danger to human life or property, or scientific research or management.

Offenses under the Act can be divided into three categories;

  • Hunting under sections 9, 17A and 2(16);
  • Unauthorized possession under sections 40, 42, 43, 48, 48A, 49 and Chapter – VA,
  • Transport and trade; and offenses relating to protected areas or habitat destruction under sections 27, 29-36 and 38.
  • “Hunting” under Section – 2(16) of the Act includes not only the act of killing or poisoning a wild or captive animal, but also the attempt to make such an offence.
  • A “captive animal” is defined under the WPA as any animal specified in Schedules I-IV that is held, held, or kept in captivity.
  • Even damaging or destroying any part of the animal or its eggs or nests is an offense punishable under section 9 of the Act.
  • Animals like black buck, black-necked crane, hooded crane, Siberian white crane, wild yak and Andaman wild pig come under Schedule I.
  • While common langur, chameleon and king cobra come under Schedule-2.
  • Schedule – 3 includes chital, wild boar, hyena and nilgai. Sarus is listed under Schedule IV of the Crane Act.
  • Section – 51 of the Act states that any person who contravenes any provision of the Act shall, except for certain exceptions, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to Rs.25,000, or with both. This also applies to any breach of any rule, order or condition of the license or permit.
  • However, as per the latest amendment to the 1972 Act enacted on August 2, 2022, which is yet to come into force, the fine has been increased to Rs one lakh.
  • If the offense pertains to animals under the first two schedules, the punishment is three to seven years’ imprisonment with or without a fine of Rs 10,000, which will increase to Rs 25,000 after the 2022 amendment.

States’ rights

  • In the year 1976, by the 42nd Amendment Act, the subject of “protection of forests and wild animals and birds” was transferred from the State to the Concurrent List.
  • However, the State Governments are still given a number of powers under the WPA, 1972. Section – 4 allows the State Government to appoint Wildlife Wardens, Honorary Wildlife Wardens and a Chief Wildlife Warden along with other officers and staff.
  • Further, Section – 6 empowers the State to constitute a State Wild Life Board, which is headed by the Chief Minister of the State, while the Vice-Chairman is the Minister in charge of Forest and Wildlife.

Source – Indian Express

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