New Delhi [India], February 18 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed an order of Jim Corbett National Park allowing plying of private buses within the core area of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI), SA Bobde, issued notices to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Director Jim Corbett National Park, National Board for Wildlife, National Tiger Conservation Authority of Uttarakhand, state's Environment and Wildlife Department, and Chief Wildlife Warden of the state and sought their responses on the plea against the decision of Forest department.
Advocate Gaurav Bansal had filed the petition contending that the Wildlife Protection Act was being violated by the state for 'wrongful gains'.
Bansal, in his petition, stated that the order of Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve is not only against various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act,1972 but also against the orders issued by the apex court wherein it had directed that the Corbett Tiger Reserve should be protected.
"The petition sought to highlight the alleged illegal act done by the forest department of Uttarakhand wherein the officials of the department, in order to provide wrongful gain to a private sector company has allowed them to ply their private buses within the core area of Corbett Tiger Reserve which as per section 38 (V) of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is required to be kept as an inviolate area for the purposes of Tiger conservation," plea added.
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 the state of Uttarakhand and its forest department officials to do the same only after taking approval from the National Board for Wildlife and on the advice of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
"However, in the present case neither the forests officials have taken any approval from competent authorities," it added.
It is also important to mention here that recently Wildlife Institute of India also conducted an assessment study wherein it is mentioned that the area in question is home for 19 Tiger's family, plea stated.
Bansal said, "Case of the petitioner is that plying of buses and that too of a private sector within the core area of Corbett Tiger Reserve is nothing but an act of compromise with the protection and conservation of our national animal, hence the present petition." (ANI)