Bhopal: Responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) from a Bhopal based wildlife enthusiast, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued a notice to MP government over alleged breach of norms in the constitution of State Wildlife Board.
Order regarding the constitution of 30-member MP State Wildlife Board (MPSWB) was issued on Aug 3 and nomination of three members with ‘special interest in wildlife’ has raised many eyebrows among wildlife conservationists.
These members include — senior journalist Rasheed Kidwai, Krishna Kumar Singh, nephew of late union minister Arjun Singh, and Brijendra Singh, member of a royal family from Rajasthan. KK Singh’s son runs a tourist resort in Umaria district, which hosts one of the six tiger reserves of the state.
“The board holds crucial importance in conservation and protection of wildlife, especially in a state like MP, which recently claimed the tag of a “Tiger State”. However, it seems that the board has been re-constituted with members getting appointed on the basis of their affiliation to a particular party rather than their professional expertise,” said the petitioner in his PIL.
The process of re-constitution of the board smells of foul play, nepotism, corruption and favouritism, petitioner Ajay Dubey alleged in the PIL.
Section 6 (1) (e) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 clearly states that the board must comprise of people who have been working in the field of wildlife conservation rather than people with ‘special interest in wildlife’, petitioner’s lawyer Aditya Sanghi told News18.
The counsel further added that against the mandatory two Scheduled Caste members, the board has none, making a mockery of provisions and norms. After hearing all arguments, the bench of Justice RS Jha and Justice Vijay Shukla served notices to Union of India, MP government and State Wildlife Board, seeking their replies within four weeks.