HC serves notice on State Govt. over Wildlife Board

The Madhya Pradesh HC has served a notice on the State govt over the constitution of the Wildlife Board after an animal rights activist filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition claiming that law has been violated by nominating persons with “special interest in wildlife” to the Board.

On Aug 3, the State govt, under Section 6 (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, reconstituted the Board by nominating 30 members, with CM Kamal Nath as its Chairman & Forest Minister (FM) Umang Singhar as Vice-Chairman(VC).

Under the Section ‘experts in the fields of environmentalism/protection’, the govt has nominated 4 out of 8 persons to the Board for their “special interest in wildlife.”

The Public Interest Litigation(PIL) plea, filed by Bhopal-based Ajay Dubey, claimed that while resorting to “nepotism, corruption & favouritism” to nominate such members, thereby violating the Act, the govt had “diluted” the word ‘eminent conservationist’, as mentioned in the Act.

According to Section 6 (e) of the Act, the State govts could nominate 10 persons to the Board from “amongst eminent conservationists, ecologists & environmentalists including at least 2 representatives of the Scheduled Tribes.”