Wild Life: Parliamentary panel for making crime more deterrent

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) Taking note of the critically low number of tigers and increasing threat to other endangered species, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forests has recommended to the Government setting up a Wild Life Crime Bureau at the earliest and increase the quantum of punishment for crimes related to tigers reserves.

The Committee has said the proposed amendments in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 should make the offence more deterrent. and provide equal punishment for those abetting the offence.

For this pupose the committee wants two sub-sections may be inserted after sub-section (1B) of the Principal Act.

One of the proposed sub-section (IC) provides that any person who commits an offence harmful to the existence of tigers in the tiger reserve will invite, on first conviction, imprisonment for a term which will not be less than three years but may extend to seven years, and also a fine which will not be less than 50,000 but may extend to Rs two lakh.

In the event of a second or subsequent conviction, the period of imprisonment shall not be less than seven years and the fine may extend from Rs five lakh to Rs 50 Lakh, the Committee said in its 154th report on the Wild Life(Protection) Amendment Bill, 2005 tabled in Parliament during the Budget session.

It has also proposed whoever abets any offence punishable under sub-section (IC) shall be punishable with punishment provided for the offence.

Noting that the population of tigers has reached a very critical state and there was the possibility of the species getting extinct, the Committee has recommended that an effective Wild Life Crime Bureau should be set up as soon as possible as recommended by the Task Force on tigers.

The task of such a bureau, which should be set up as a statutory body under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, would be to strengthen the enforcement at the local level, investigate international links in the wild life trade and break the network of big poachers, the Committee said.

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