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Help asked on increasing the jurisdiction of NGT under wildlife law

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought help from Attorney General KK Venugopal on the possibility of extending the jurisdiction of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) till the Wildlife Protection Act. The Attorney General assured the court that he would look into the issue immediately.

A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian asked the Attorney General to explore the possibility of extending the jurisdiction of the NGT to the Wildlife Conservation Act. The bench was hearing a petition filed for the eradication of birds such as the Great Indian Bustard (GBI) and the long-legged Khamor for the eradication of birds and underground cabling.

On behalf of the petitioner retired IAS officer MK Ranjit Singh, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan said when the NGT had a similar case pending, the bench said that if it is considering the matter no need to raise several suits.

Dewan said that the NGT is empowered under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986 and the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, but does not have any rights under the Wildlife Conservation Act.