The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972

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Wild Life Protection Act, 1972
Wild Life Protection Act, 1972

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 was passed on August 21, 1972, but was later implemented on September 9, 1972. The act is to provide for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants with a view to ensuring the ecological and environmental security to the country. This act prohibits the capturing, killing, poisoning or trapping of wild animals.

Objective of Wild Life Protection Act

  • Prohibition of hunting
  • Protection and management of wildlife habitats
  • Establishment of protected areas
  • Regulation and control of trade in parts and products derived from wildlife
  • Management of zoos
Salient features of Wild Life Protection Act
  • It defines the wild-life related terminology.
  • It provides for the appointment of wildlife advisory Board, Wildlife warden, their powers, duties etc.
  • Under the Act, comprehensive listing of endangered wild life species was done for the first time and prohibition of hunting of the endangered species was mentioned.
  • Protection to some endangered plants like Beddome cycad, Blue Vanda, Ladies Slipper Orchid, Pitcher plant etc. is also provided under the Act.
  • The Act provides for declaration and management of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and closed areas.
  • The Act provides for the constitution of Central Zoo Authority.
  • The Act grants license (permit) for hunting of animals for the purpose of education, scientific research and scientific management.
  • The Act grants license (permit) for picking, uprooting, etc of specified plants for the purpose of education, scientific research and scientific management.
  • The Act grants license (permit) for trade and commerce in wild animals and animal products.
  • The Act imposes a ban on the trade or commerce in scheduled animals.
  • The Act grants license (permit) for cultivation of specified but otherwise prohibited plants.
  • The Act protects the rights of scheduled Tribes population.
  • It provides for legal powers to officers and punishment to offenders.
  • It provides for captive breeding programme for endangered species.

Chapters and Sections 

It has 7 Chapter, 66 section and 6 schedules.

Wild Life Protection Act, 1972

Chapter 1- Preliminary

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides : 

1. Short title, extent and commencement
2. Definitions (It defines the wild-life related terminology)

Chapter 2- Authority to be appointed or constituted under the act

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

3. The appointment of Director and other officers.
4. Appointment of Chief Wild Life Warden and other officers.
5. Power to delegate
6. Constitution of State Board for Wild Life
7. Procedure to be followed by the Board
8. Duties of State Board for Wild Life

Chapter 3- Hunting of Wild Animals

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

9. Prohibition of Hunting
10. Maintenance of records of wild animals killed and captured
11. Hunting of wild animals to be permitted in certain cases
12. Grant of permit for special purposes

[Section 13-17 are Rep. by the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 1991 (44 of 1991), sec. 12 (w.e.f. 2-10-1991)]

Chapter 3A- Protection of Specified Plants

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

17A. Prohibition of picking, uprooting, etc, of specified plant.
17B. Grants of permit for special purposes.
17C. Cultivation of specified plants without licence prohibited.
17D. Dealing in specified plants without licence prohibited.
17E. Declaration of stock.
17F. Possession, etc., of plants by licensee.
17G. Purchase, etc., of specified plants.
17H. Plants to be Government property.

Chapter 4- Protected Areas

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

18. Declaration of sanctuary.
18A. Protection to sanctuaries.
18B. Appointment of Collectors.
19. Collector to determine rights.
20. Bar of accrual of rights.
21. Proclamation by Collector.
22. Inquiry by Collector
23. Powers of Collector.
24. Acquisition of rights.
25. Acquisition proceedings.
25A. Time-limit for completion of acquisition proceedings.
26. Delegation of Collector’s powers.
26A. Declaration of area as sanctuary.
27. Restriction on entry in sanctuary.
28. Grant of permit.
29. Destruction, etc., in a sanctuary prohibited without a permit.
30. Causing fire prohibited.
31. Prohibition of entry into sanctuary with weapon.
32. Ban on use of injurious substances.
33. Control of sanctuaries.
33A. Immunisation of live-stock.
33B. Advisory Committee.
34. Registration of certain persons in possession of arms.
34A. Power to remove encroachment.
35. Declaration of National Parks.
36. Declaration of game reserve.—[Rep. by the Wile Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 1991 (44 of 1991), sec. 24 (w.e.f. 2-10-1991).]
36A. Declaration and management of a conservation reserve.
36B. Conservation Reserve Management Committee.
36C. Declaration and management of community reserve.
36D. Community Reserve Management Committee.
37. Declaration of closed area.—[Rep. by Act 16 of 2003, sec. 21.]
38. Power of Central Government to declare areas as sanctuaries or National Parks.

Chapter 4A- Central Zoo Authority and Recongnition of Zoos

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

38A. Constitution of Central Zoo Authority.
38B. Term of office and conditions of service of Chairperson and members, etc.
38C. Functions of the Authority.
38D. Procedure to be regulated by the Authority.
38E. Grants and loans to Authority and Constitution of Fund.
38F. Annual report.
38G. Annual report and audit report to be laid before Parliament.
38H. Recognition of zoos.
38I. Acquisition of animals by a zoo.
38J. Prohibition of teasing, etc., in a zoo.

Chapter 4B- National Tiger Conservation Authority

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

38L. Constitution of National Tiger Conservation Authority.
38M. Term of office and conditions of service of members.
38N. Officers and employees of Tiger Conservation Authority.
38O. Powers and Functions of Tiger Conservation Authority.
38P. Procedure to be regulated by Tiger Conservation Authority
38Q. Grants and loans to Tiger Conservation Authority and Constitution of Fund.
38R. Accounts and audit of Tiger Conservation Authority.
38S. Annual report of Tiger Conservation Authority.
38T. Annual report and audit report to be laid before Parliament.
38U. Constitution of Steering Committee.
38V. Tiger Conservation Plan.
38W. Alteration and de-notification of tiger reserves.
38X. Establishment of Tiger Conservation Foundation.

Chapter 4C- Tiger and Other Endangered Spices Crime Control Bureau

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

38Y. Constitution of Tiger and other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau.
38Z. Powers and functions of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.

Chapter 5- Trade or Commerce in Wild Animals, Animal articles and Trophies

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

39. Wild animals, etc., to be Government property.
40. Declarations.
40A. Immunity in certain cases.
41. Inquiry and preparation of inventories.
42. Certificate of ownership.
43. Regulation of transfer of animal, etc.
44. Dealings in trophy and animal articles without licence prohibited.
45. Suspension or cancellation of licences.
46. Appeal.
47. Maintenance of records.
48. Purchase of animal, etc., by licensee.
48A. Restriction on transportation of wild life.
49. Purchase of captive animal, etc., by a person other than a licensee.

Chapter 5A- Prohibition of Trade or Commerce in Trophies, Animal articles, etc. Derived from certain animals

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

49A. Definitions.
49B. Prohibition of dealings in trophies, animal articles, etc., derived from scheduled animals
49C. Declaration by dealers.

Chapter 6- Prevention and Detection of Offences

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

50. Power of entry, search, arrest and detention.
51. Penalties.
51A. Certain conditions to apply while granting bail.
52. Attempts and abatement.
53. Punishment for wrongful seizure.
54. Power to compound offences.
55. Cognizance of offences.
56. Operation of other laws not barred.
57. Presumption to be made in certain cases.
58. Offences by companies.

Chapter 6A- Forfeiture of Property derived from illegal hunting and trade

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides :

58A. Application.
58B. Definitions.
58C. Prohibition of holding illegally acquired property.
58D. Competent authority.
58E. Identifying illegally acquired property.
58F. Seizure or freezing of illegally acquired property.
58G. Management of properties seized or forfeited under this Chapter.
58H. Notice of forfeiture of property.
58-I. Forfeiture of property in certain cases.
58J. Burden of proof.
58K. Fine in lieu of forfeiture.
58L. Procedure in relation to certain trust properties.
58M. Certain transfers to be null and void.
58N. Constitution of Appellate Tribunal.
58-O. Appeals.
58P. Notice or order not to be invalid for error in description.
58Q. Bar of jurisdiction.
58R. Competent authority and Appellate Tribunal to have powers of civil court.
58S. Information to competent authority.
58T. Certain officers to assist Administrator, competent authority and Appellate Tribunal.
58U. Power to take possession
58W. Findings under other laws not conclusive for proceedings under this Chapter.
58X. Service of notices and orders
58Y. Punishment for acquiring property in relation to which proceedings have been taken under this Chapter.

Chapter 7- Miscellaneous

Wild Life Protection Act 1972 provides : 

59. Officers to be public servants.
60. Protection of action taken in good faith
60A. Reward to persons.
60B. Reward by State Government.
61. Power to alter entries in Schedules.
62. Declaration of certain wild animals to be vermin.
63. Power of Central Government to make rules.
64. Power of State Government to make rules.
65. Rights of Scheduled Tribes to be protected.
66. Repeal and savings.

Click here for Project Tiger and Tiger Reserves in India
Click here For List of National Parks in India

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