CALCUTTA HIGH COURT TAKES SUO MOTO COGNIZANCE OF ILLEGAL SMUGGLING OF ENDANGERED SPECIES OF BIRDS IN THE STATE

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    The Calcutta High Court, on Friday, took Suo Moto cognizance of the rise in instances of smuggling of endangered migratory bird species during the winter months.

    A Division Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee has taken up the matter on the basis of a newspaper report that ‘exposed the tip of an iceberg’ regarding the ‘cruel intrusion’ into the life birds. They directed that the matter should be registered as a public interest litigation petition.

    The bench discussed these following issues:

    • The extent of the smuggling and illegal trading of endangered species of birds;
    • Fixing responsibility for these acts;
    • To pass necessary directions upon the appropriate authorities to ensure that no smuggling and illegal trading of endangered species of birds, take place.

    The petition emphasized that the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, Articles 48-A and 51-A(g), and the Wildlife Protection Act provided for the protection of endangered bird species.

    Taking notice of this, the Court has decided to consider the matter further and has directed the Advocate General to assist the Court “in his capacity as an advocate apart from appearing on behalf of the State.”