The Calcutta High Court on Friday prohibited the hunting, selling, buying or exchanging of birds either as part of sale of domestic animals or otherwise. The transport and smuggling of birds through various courier services or packages or any other mode through inland transport or through airports in any manner shall be prohibited, the court said.
The Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee ordered thus in the suo motu matter related to the illegal smuggling and trading of endangered species of birds in the State.
The order enjoined that efficacious and constructive recourse must also be taken by the state police and police authorities and security personnel in charge of the airports and police officials in control of the inland transport system to prevent the same.
The order directed the Chief Secretary of the government of West Bengal and the Secretary of the Home Department to cooperatively consider the proposals and execute the views of the government from the angle of effective governance in lieu to effectuate the need to secure and taut the wildlife and forest wealth.
According to the order, the officers of the Motor Vehicles Department, the police department and other allied concerned officials of the Airport Authorities are directed to ensure that transportation of live birds and other animals are expropriated and the offenders are brought to book.
Vitiating of the prohibitory order would amount immediate cognizance by the jurisdictional officers and non-compliance of the said order on the part of the officers in administration would be looked upon as decrepitude disposition and dereliction of duty and violations of the same.
The bench perused the critical areas in terms of management of wildlife in the State which profusely demanded requisite measures.
Emphasis was laid in paragraph 5(H) of the a forenamed report which reads as follows:
“i. Formation of Inter-State Co-ordination Committee with neighbouring states to deal with problems related to Wildlife Crime especially smuggling of wild animals and their articles.
ii. Formation of Wildlife Squads in each district of the state to effectively deal with the problem.
iii. Deployment of police in special camps for protection in National Parks and Sanctuaries, Tiger Reserves and important forest areas on case to case basis.
iv. Formal coordination with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh to curb illegal wildlife trade.
v. Modernization of Forest Force and to equip them with all modern equipment, transport and arms.
vi. Awareness generation through different media and audio video campaigns at Railway stations, Bus stations, Airport and with village communities.”