The wild life laws have a long history and is the culminative result of an increasing awareness of the compelling need to restore the catastrophic ecological imbalances introduced by the depridations inflicted on nature by human being. The earliest codified law can be traced to 3rd Centuary B.C. when Ashoka, the King of Maghadha, enacted a law in the matter of preservation of wild life and environment. But, the first codified law in India which heralded the era of laws for the wild life and protection was enacted in the year 1887 by the British and was titled as the Wild Birds Protection Act, 1887 (10 of 1887). This Act enabled the then Government to frame rules prohibiting the possession or sale of any kinds of specified wild birds, which have been killed or taken during the breeding season. Again the British Government in the year 1912 passed the Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act, 1912 (8 of 1912) as the Act of 1887 proved to be inadequate for the protection of wild birds and animals. The Act of 1912 was amended in the year 1935 by the Wild Birds and Animals Protection (Amendment) Act, 1935 (27 of 1935). After the Second World War the freedom struggle for India started taking its shape and wild life was relagated to the background. But after independence, the Constituent Assembly in the Draft Constitution placed "Protection of Wild Birds and Wild Animals" at entry No.20 in the State List and the State Legislature has been given power to legislate. It was not till late 1960's that the concern for the depleting wild finally aroused. ACT 53 OF 1972
The first comprehensive legislation relating to protection of wild life was passed by the Parliament and it was assented by the President on 9th September, 1972 and came to be known as The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (53 of 1972). LIST OF AMENDING ACTS
1. The constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976. 2. The Wild Life (Protection) (Amendment) Act, 1982 (23 of 1982). 3. The Wild Life (Protection) (Amendment) Act, 1986 (28 of 1986) 4. The Wild Life (Protection) (Amendment) Act, 1991 (44 of 1991). 5. The Wild Life (Protection) (Amendment) Act, 1993 (26 of 1993).
THE WILD LIFE (PROTECTION) ACT, 1972
(53 of 1927)
[9th September, 1972]
An Act to provide for the protection of 1[wild animals, birds and plants] and for matters connected therewith or ancillary or incidental thereto. 2[* * *]
1. Short title, extent and commencement. (1) This Act may be called Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. 3[(2) It extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.] 3) It shall come into force in a State or Union Territory to which it extends, 4[* * *] on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act or for different States or Union territories. 2. Definitions.-In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,- (1) "animal" includes amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles and their young, and also includes, in the cases of birds and reptiles, their eggs; (2) "animal article" means an article made from any captive animal or wild animal, other than vermin, and includes an article or object in which the whole or any part of such animal 5[has been used, and ivory imported into India and article made therefrom]; 6[* * *]
(4) "Board" means the Wild Life Advisory Board constituted under sub-section (1) of section 6; (5) "captive animal" means any animal, specified in Sechedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III or Schedule IV, which is captured or kept or bred in captivity; 6[* * *]
(7) "Chief Wild Life Warden" means the person appointed as such under clause (a) of sub-section 4. 7[(7A) "circus" means an establishment, whether stationary or mobile, where animals are kept or used wholly or mainly for the purpose of performing tricks or manoeuvres;] (8) "closed area" means the...