August 16, 2022

Gujarat HC asks petitioner to file RTI in plea towards transferring wild animals to RIL-backed zoo | (Picture by Punit PARANJPE / AFP)

The Gujarat Excessive Court docket has requested an animal rights NGO to file a Proper to Data (RTI) utility to get a replica of the order by the Central and State Governments authorising the switch of untamed animals to a Reliance Industries Restricted-supported zoo in Jamnagar.

In consequence, the onus of proving that such authority was certainly given in August 2020 rests with the petitioner, who submitted that the authorisation letter was not within the public area. In response, the court docket requested him to file an utility beneath the Proper to Data (RTI) Act.

Halar Utkarsh Samiti Belief, which filed public curiosity litigation looking for the court docket’s path to restrain central and state zoo authorities from transferring wild animals to the personal zoo and place on document the authorisation granted to the personal zoo.

The petitioner, by means of its advocate Aditya Choksi, submitted earlier than a division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice AJ Shastri that the zoo — Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Jamnagar — had been given recognition beneath the Wild Life Safety Act Part 38 (h) on August 17, 2020, by the Central Zoo Authority.

And in line with the regulation, “There is no such thing as a provision with respect to giving recognition to a personal zoo and that lately there have been experiences that 94 wild animals that are scheduled animals had been introduced from Morocco to Jamnagar,” the petitioner stated.

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In accordance with the petitioner, the zoo was granted recognition beneath the class of the mini zoo beneath Rule 9 of the Recognition of Zoo Guidelines, 2009.

Nevertheless, Choksi alleged that the popularity had been granted with out satisfying any of the factors beneath Rule 10, which pertains to the pursuits of safety and conservation of untamed animals. He additionally identified that the chief wildlife warden of Gujarat requested central zoo authorities for the popularity of the zoo “inside 15 days” after a proposal was made by RIL for a similar.

The petitioner submitted that the responsibility to guard the life of untamed animals couldn’t be transferred to a personal physique.

When the court docket inquired and sought to see the August 2020 order of authorisation given to the zoo, Choksi identified that it was not within the public area. The court docket requested Choksi that he may try to acquire it by submitting a requisite utility beneath the RTI Act.

Not solely this, the bench asserted that solely after he produced the order would the court docket look at the petitioner’s request and maintainability of the petition.

The court docket in its order, dictated within the open court docket, recorded, “…In the whole case, the petitioner is resting upon the popularity dated 17.8.2020. Nevertheless, the copy of the stated order is just not positioned on document. In that view of the matter, we grant liberty to the petitioner to provide the identical.”

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