MP, Chh’garh HCs seek response from state govts

Bhopal, Oct 06 (PTI): The Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh high courts have sought responses from respective state governments over petitions alleging violation of norms in the constitution of wildlife boards.
They were hearing petitions filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey in the high courts of Madhya Pradesh (in Jabalpur) and Chhattisgarh (in Bilaspur). The courts on Monday sought responses from the state governments while hearing the petitions, according to the official order sheets.
In its order, a bench of Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vishal Dhagat asked the counsel for the state government to “seek instructions and file an additional reply”. All state governments are mandated to constitute a state board for wildlife, with the chief minister as its chairman, which is mandated to tender its advice in “formulation of the policy for protection and conservation of the wildlife and specified plants” among others, according to the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
Ten people are to be nominated by the state government from among eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists, including at least two representatives of the Scheduled Tribes, it said.
The state governments are mandated to form rules to help the board carry out its duties in accordance with the law.
Dubey in its petition claimed that the Madhya Pradesh government has not yet framed these rules.
He also mentioned that people were being nominated for “having special interest in wildlife” whereas the law says the government can nominate members from among “eminent” conservationists, according to the petition filed in August 2019.
The petition filed through advocate Aditya Sanghi sought reconstitution of the board in consonance with the act.
The Chhattisgarh High Court in its order gave four weeks’ time to the state government to file its reply.
Dubey in its petition filed through advocate Harsh Wardhan had raised similar grounds before the court.
“Both the Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments should ensure at earliest that state wildlife boards are reconstituted as per the provisions mentioned in the Wildlife (Protection) Act,” he told PTI.
Dubey, on whose petition the Supreme Court had in 2012 asked the Centre to frame guidelines to check tourism inside tiger reserves, said that the state governments should not let any political interest affect the environment and wildlife.

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