Re-Examining the Constitutional Validity of Section 62 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Supreme Court

Re-Examining the Constitutional Validity of Section 62 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Supreme Court

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After the petition filed by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, Supreme Court has agreed to examine Section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and checking the constitutional validity of the particular section. Section 62 of the Act states that the Central Government has the power to declare any wild animal to be a vermin and also to remove any of the wild animal from the protection of the Act.

According to the petitioners “the powers given to the Central Government under Section 62 are arbitrary, general and unfettered. They further stated that there is no authority where unchecked killing of wild animals is permitted. However, Section 11 (1) (b) allocates authority with the Chief Wildlife Warden who must substantiate the killing of each animal and show that other options of rehabilitation or conflict resolution have first been tried. Moreover, there is accountability for each animal thus killed and possibility of misuse is minimized. Furthermore, Section 11 (1) (b) clearly envisages the possible threat of animals to “standing crops on any land.” With this lesser invasive and safer provision available in the WPA, 1972 there was no justification for invoking Section 62 at all. Furthermore, it is a settled principle of law that in an Act where there is a specific provision it prevails over a general one.”

Furthermore, in the petition, the Petitioner claims following reliefs-

Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction to declare Section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to be unconstitutional and violative of Article 14, 21 and 51A of the Constitution of India.

By – Simran Arora

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