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Supreme Court seeks response from Uttarakhand govt on plea against buses in core area of Corbett Tiger Reserve

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde has sought the response of Centre, National Board for Wildlife, National Tiger Reserve Authority, State of Uttarakhand & Ors on a plea which has also alleged that Wildlife Protection Act was being violated by the state of Uttarakhand for "wrongful gains".

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Uttarakhand government on a plea filed against the decision of its Forest Department to allow a private company to ply its buses within a core area of Corbett Tiger Reserve.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde has sought the response of Centre, National Board for Wildlife, National Tiger Reserve Authority, State of Uttarakhand & Ors on a plea which has also alleged that Wildlife Protection Act was being violated by the state of Uttarakhand for “wrongful gains”. 

The petition has been filed by Gaurav Kumar Bansal against the order passed by the Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve by which it had allowed buses of private sector company to ply within the core area of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand. 

The petitioner submitted that plying of buses in core area of Tiger Reserve not only violated the law of the land, Section 38 (O) and Section 38 (V) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 but has also compromised with the safety, protection and conservation of the national animal, the Tiger.

The petition stated that Section 38 (O) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 provides that Tiger Reserves shall not be diverted for ecologically unsustainable uses, and in case it is required, then it is mandatory for State of Uttarakhand and its Forest Department officials to do the same only after taking approval from National Board for Wildlife and on the advice of National Tiger Conservation Authority. 

The petitioner further averred that in the present case neither the Forests officials have taken any approval from Respondent No. 02/National Board for Wildlife nor have taken any advice from National Tiger Conservation Authority. 

The petitioner submitted that recently Wildlife Institute of India also conducted an assembly study wherein it is mentioned that the area in question is home for 19 tigers. The order is nothing but an act of compromise with the Protection and Conservation of our National Animal, the plea said

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