Pendency Of Cases Under Animal/Forest Laws: Calcutta High Court Directs All Subordinate Courts To Proceed With Such Cases On ‘War-Footing’

first_imgNews UpdatesPendency Of Cases Under Animal/Forest Laws: Calcutta High Court Directs All Subordinate Courts To Proceed With Such Cases On ‘War-Footing’ Sparsh Upadhyay9 March 2021 1:57 AMShare This – xIn a significant move, the Calcutta High Court last week directed the Courts subordinate to it to expedite the adjudication of matters pending under different animal laws and forest laws. Significantly, the Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee remarked, “The judiciary should be prompt to ensure that all allegations of intrusion into the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn a significant move, the Calcutta High Court last week directed the Courts subordinate to it to expedite the adjudication of matters pending under different animal laws and forest laws. Significantly, the Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee remarked, “The judiciary should be prompt to ensure that all allegations of intrusion into the domain of the animals which result in allegations as to commission of offences gain prompt attention, requisite and timely adjudication.” The Court issued this direction to all the Courts subordinate to it, in view of the fact that presently, there are 1140 cases pending under the forest laws before the courts below. Thus, the Court directed all the subordinate courts where such matters are pending, to forthwith proceed on a war footing in all such matters. Importantly, the Court further added, “Since the victims in all those cases are not ‘State’ as is understood in the Constitution and the laws but primarily the animals who are voice-less creatures who cannot be represented before any adjudicating authority except by the duly authorised representative of the State Government.” Further, the Court directed the Registrar General to ensure that a circular following HC’s order is issued within a week requiring all courts below to proceed with an action in the direction indicated in the Court’s order. Alerting the courts below, the Court also added, “It is the required norms in terms of the Constitution and the law that except in exceptional situations, such cases shall not be adjourned and also to take requisite coercive steps for non-attendance.” The Conservator of Forests, Wildlife Headquarters, and Chief Wildlife Warden, West Bengal who was appearing before the Court, presented a report indicating the following concerns:- Though there is a legal cell in the department, they have a shortage of ground staff which is a great drawback in proper management of adequate policing in the forest through the forest guards. There are clear cases of illicit activities and even illicit trade in animals including birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes etc. In this backdrop, the Court pointed out that the very use of the word ‘warden’ in the nomenclature of the office of the wildlife warden and the chief wildlife warden clearly indicates the role of those officers as that of guardians of the animal wealth. With the aforesaid, the Court adjourned the matter to March 26, 2021 within which time, a further affidavit had been sought by the Court from the conservator of forests disclosing the volume of illegal activities in trade or otherwise affecting the animal wealth and further streamlining what could be suggested by the department. The Court has also left it open for the officers of the wildlife sector and the forest sector to place such suggestions which, according to them, will improve the forest management and the wildlife management in the State of West Bengal. Click Here To Download OrderRead OrderSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more