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Bombay HC stay on GR that allowed hunting of wild boar, Nilgai

The Bombay high court (HC) has stayed the implementation of a 2015 government resolution (GR) which deemed permission to farmers to hunt wild boar and Nilgai, if their applications were not processed by the officials concerned within 24 hours.

The GR, issued on July 22, 2015, stated that a farmer, who was afflicted with frequent losses of crops owing to trampling by said wild animals, should apply for a permission to kill them. If their applications did not get a response within 24 hours from the authorities concerned, it should be assumed that the farmers are permitted to kill the “troublesome animal”.

A Pune resident challenged the GR on the ground that the Wildlife Act did not permit the hunting of wild animals. Through his advocate, Kalyani Tulankar, the petitioner, Jamshed Kersi Dalal, said that Nilgai and wild boar need to be protected, and hence the GR should be set aside.

Tulankar said Dalal had come across reports which highlighted the indiscriminate killing of the two animals across the country, and hence when he saw the GR, he decided to challenge it, as it gave people unrestrained power to poach these animals.

Tulankar said that while the procedure put in place for the farmers to apply for permission was intended to ensure that the official would visit the farm and assess the damage before allowing or denying permission to kill the wild boar or Nilgai, the GR had “conveniently bypassed the procedure”, thus empowering applicants to carry out killings in an unrestrained manner.

Tulankar further informed the court that the two wild animals come under the category of schedule 2, 3 and 4 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, and hence their indiscriminate killing should be stopped.

The division bench of chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice NM Jamdar accepted the submissions and refused to oblige the state’s plea seeking the removal of the stay by a previous bench. It posted the public interest litigation (PIL) for final hearing.

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