Strict implementation of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, besides the Karnataka Forest Act 1963, and Karnataka Forest Rules 1969, by the Forest Cell has managed to curb poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking to a great extent. But a lot remains to be done
The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India, enacted in order to conserve animals, birds, plants and the matters connected therewith. Before 1972, India had only five designated national parks. Among other reforms, the Act established schedules of protected plant and animal species; hunting or harvesting these species was largely outlawed. The Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants; and for matters connected there with or ancillary or incidental thereto. It extends to the whole of India. It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection.
Schedule I and Part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection – offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties. Species listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV lists out animals prohibited for hunting and trading. These are also protected, but the penalties are much lower. Schedule V includes vermin which may be hunted. Schedule VI lists out flora species and fauna. The specified endemic plants in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting.
The Code has been amended several times – in 1982, 1986, 1991, 1993, 2002 and 2006. The most recent amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act was in 2013. The 2002 Amendment Act which came into force in January, 2003 have made punishment and penalty for offences under the Act more stringent.
For offences relating to wild animals (or their parts and products) included in ScheduleI or Part II of Schedule II, and those relating to hunting or altering the boundaries of a National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary, the punishment and penalty have been enhanced. The minimum imprisonment prescribed is three years, which may extend to seven years, with a minimum fine of ₹10,000. For a subsequent offence of this nature, the term of imprisonment shall not be less than three years, but may extend to seven years with a minimum fine of ₹25,000.
Also a new section (51A) has been inserted in the Act, making certain conditions applicable while granting bail: ‘When any person accused of the commission of any offence relating to Schedule I or Part II of Schedule II or offences relating to hunting inside the boundaries of National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary or altering the boundaries of such parks and sanctuaries, is arrested under the provisions of the Act, then not withstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, no such person who had been previously convicted of an offence under this Act shall be released on bail unless (a) The Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity of opposing the release on bail; and (b) Where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he/she is not guilty of such offences and that he/she is not likely to commit any offence while on bail’.
In order to improve the intelligence gathering in wildlife crime, the existing provision for rewarding the informers has been increased from 20% of the fine and composition money respectively to 50% in each case. In addition to this, a reward up to ` 10,000/- is also proposed to be given to the informants and others who provide assistance in detection of crime and apprehension of the offender.
At present, persons having ownership certificate in respect of Schedule I and Part II of Schedule II animals, can sell or gift such articles. This has been amended with a view to curb illegal trade, and thus no person can now acquire Schedule I or Part II of Schedule II animals, articles or trophies except by way of inheritance (except live elephants). Offences related to trade and commerce in trophies, animals articles etc. derived from certain animals (exception: Chapter V-A and Section 38J) attracts a term of imprisonment up to three years and/or a fine up to ₹25,000.
Stringent measures have also been proposed to forfeit the properties of hardcore criminals who have already been convicted in the past for heinous wildlife crimes. These provisions are similar to the provisions of ‘Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985’. Provisions have also been made empowering officials to evict encroachments from Protected Areas.
Penalties are prescribed in Section 51. Enforcement can be performed by agencies such as the Forest Department, the Police, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), the Customs and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Chargesheets can be filed directly by the Forest Department. Other enforcement agencies, often due to the lack of technical expertise, hand over cases to the Forest Department.
Karnataka is bestowed with an outstanding variety of wildlife ranging from tigers, leopards, elephants,and other mammals. There are also other species such as reptiles, amphibians, fish, etc. Moreover, there are medicinal plants, a variety of wildflowers and orchids. Many of the species are under tremendous pressure from poachers and illegal wildlife traffickers. Among the many forces driving this ecological catastrophe is the international trade in flora and fauna.
The Forest Cell is in charge of enforcement of Karnataka Forest Act 1963, Karnataka Forest Rules 1969, and the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, along with rules framed thereunder.
Enforcement authorities have the power to register offences under this Schedule – they can impose fines on the offenders. Upto April 2010, there were 16 convictions under this act relating to the death of tigers. For the last four years alone (2016-2019), the Forest Cell has detected 2,457 cases and recovered properties worth ₹33,01,14,815 under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Karnataka Forest Act 1963, and Karnataka Forest Rules 1969.
ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF FOREST CELL
- THE CID, FOREST CELL WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1973 AS A SUB UNIT OF CID.
- ADGP IS THE HEAD OF THE UNIT.
- THE CID, FOREST CELL FUNCTIONS AS PER “STANDING ORDER NO:621, DATED: 31-03-1973” IN DIRECTING AND CO-ORDINATING THE WORK OF ALL CONNECTED AGENCIES WITH REGARD TO PROTECTING FOREST PRODUCE.
- IT IS THE ENDEAVOUR OF THE CELL TO KEEP CLOSE TOUCH WITH OFFICERS NOT ONLY OF THE POLICE, FOREST VIGILANCE ORGANISATION OF THE STATE BUT ALSO WITH THE OFFICERS OF THE NEIGHBOURING STATE.
- IT ACTS AS A NODAL AGENCY IN MAINTAINING CO-ORDINATION BETWEEN FOREST DEPT AND WILDLIFE CRIME CONTROL BUREAU IN REGARDING TO FOREST / WILDLIFE OFFENCES.
- CONDUCTING CO-ORDINATION MEETING WITH FOREST AND DISTRICT POLICE OFFICERS WHERE FOREST AREA EXISTS FOR CONTROLLING CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OF ACCUSED PERSONS INVOLVED IN FOREST AND WILDLIFE OFFENCES.
- CONDUCTING WORKSHOPS INVOLVING NGOS, OFFICERS AND STAFF OF THE FOREST CELL, TO IMPROVE AWARENESS AND SENSITIZE AND BUILD COOPERATION WITH EACH OTHER ABOUT PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE.
- CONDUCTING MONTHLY CRIME REVIEW MEETINGS AND SUPERVISION OF CASES REGISTERED UNDER KARNATAKA FOREST ACT AND WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT AND THEIR INVESTIGATION.
- WELFARE PROGRAMMES : MEDICAL CHECKUPS AND OTHER GRIEVANCES ETC.,
- CONDUCTING WORKSHOPS INVOLVING NGOS, OFFICERS AND STAFF OF THE FOREST CELL, TO IMPROVE AWARENESS, TO SENSITIZE AND TO BUILD COOPERATION WITH EACH OTHER ABOUT PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE.
- WELFARE PROGRAMMES : FREE MEDICAL CHECKUP CAMPS.
- SURPRISE VISITS TO FOREST CHECKPOSTS AND CHECKING OF VEHICLES PASSING THROUGH CHECKPOSTS.
- CONDUCTING ANTIPOACHING CAMPS IN FOREST AREAS.
- CONDUCTING AWARENESS PROGRAMMES (JANASAMPARKA SABHAS) AT VILLAGES TO BRING AWARENESS AMONG LOCAL PEOPLE ABOUT WILDLIFE AND FOREST OFFENCES.
Meet The ADGP, Forest Cell, Bengaluru
Dr. P. Ravindranath. IPS
ADGP, Forest Cell, Bengaluru
Education Qualification :
MBBS, Served as Medical Officer in Govt. of India.
Joined IPS in 1989.
Held the following postings:
ASP – Bellary
ASP – Haveri
AIG (General) – Chief Office
DCP (L&O) – Mysore
SP – CID, Bengaluru.
SP – Gulbarga
International Peace Mission in Bosnia – Civil Police Monitor.
DIG – Economic Offences, CID, Bengaluru
DIG – Hqtrs., Bengaluru
IGP – Excise Enforcement
IGP – KSRP
Commissioner of Police – Mysore City
IGP – (Admin)
ADGP – KSRP
ADGP – R & R
ADGP – SCRB
ADGP – Forest Cell
Medals / Rewards received :
Indian Police Medal – for Meritorious Service.
Police President Medal – for Distinguished Service
Cash Reward for the investigation of Terrorist, Bomb Blast Cases.
IMPORTANT CASES DETECTED BY CID, FOREST CELL
OLD HUBLI PSCR No. 220/07
- PRABHAKAR KESHAV GAJAKHOSH
- UDAYA PARASHURAM KADAM
- ARUN PARASHURAM KADAM
- TIGER PELT – 1
- LEOPARD PELTS – 18
VALUED RS. 21,50,000/-
HALIYALA PS CR NO. 126/07
- PRABHAKAR KESHAV GAJAKHOSH
- SUBHASH DHAKAPPA PATTEKAR
- LEOPARD PELTS – 3
- OTTER PELTS – 43
VALUED RS. 13,75,000/-
SAKALESHPUR TOWN. PS CR NO. 04/08
- ARUN S/O CHANDREGOWD
- NASIR S/O ANWAR HUSAIN
- ANSAR S/O ABDUL GAFFA
ALL R/O CHIKKAMAGALUR
- TWO IVORY VALUED RS. 92,00,000/-
- ONE MARUTI CAR VALUED. RS.2,00,000/-
- ONE SWORD, ONE WEIGHING MACHINE
- TWO NOKIA MOBILES
RAJANAKUNTE PS CR NO. 139/08
- VENKATESH S/O MUNISWAMY, 55 YRS, DIMBALA VILLAGE, SRINIVASAPURA
- N.K. NAGARAJA S/O KEMPAIAH, 32 YRS, HOSAHUDYA, DODDABALLAPURA
- H. RAVIKUMAR S/O KRISHNAPPA, PUTTUR, D.G.PUR
- RHINOSEROUS HORN – 1
VALUED RS. 5,00,000/-
HALIYALA PS CR NO. 126/07
- AJJANNA S/O DEVAIAH, 28YRS, # BOODIHALLI VILLAGE, MAILANAHALLI POST, CHALLAKERE TQ,
- BLACK BUCK PELT – 12
- NOKIA MOBILE – 1
TOTAL VALUE RS. 3,00,000/-
MADDUR PS CR. NO. 466/10
- B.N.RAJU S/O NARASAIAH, 45 YRS, R/O BACHAHALLI VILLAGE, CHANNAPATTANA, RAMANGAR DISTRICT.
PROPERTY: 2 – IVORY
SOMAWAR PET P.S CR.NO. 12/2012
- KEERTHI S/O SUBBIAH, 22 YRS, # SANGANAHALLI, THALLURU, SHETTALI VILLAGE, SOMAWARPET TQ.
- SOMASHEKAR S/O K.G.CHIDANANDA, 38 YRS, BAGAVARA ROAD, SOMAWARPET TOWN.
- MANOHARA PUJARI S/O SHANKARA PUJARI, 35 YRS, # AMBA NILAYA, TOKATTA, KUNDAPUR TQ, UDUPI.
PROPERTY: ELEPHANT TUSK-2, 48 KGS. VALUED RS.1,60,00,000
KOLLEGALA R.F.O FOC NO. 34/2012
- RAMESH S/O SHIVANANJE GOWDA, 3O YRS, # GOWDAHALLI VILLAGE, YALANDUR.
- RAJASHEKARA S/O GURUMALLAPPA, 56 YRS, KOLLEGALA TOWN,
- CHANDRU S/O SIDDASHETTY, 39 YRS, TARAKANAMBI VILLAGE, KOLLEGALA TOWN.
PROPERTY: TIGER FELT – 1
ANEKAL P.S CR.NO.53/2012
- R. NAGARAJU S/O LT. RUDRAPPA, 31 YRS.
- A. PAPAREDDY S/O AMASAPPA, 36 YRS.
R/O GEDDALAHALLI VILLAGE, DENKANIKOTE TQ., KRISHNAGIRI DISTRICT, TAMILNADU.
PROPERTY: 8 – ELEPHANT TUSKS
INDIRANAGAR P.S Cr. No. 23/2013
DEEPAK RUPAYAN S/O TAKUR SHANTHINATH, 60 YRS, # 4020, 3RD CROSS, HAL 2ND STAGE, INDIRANAGAR. BANGALORE. TARAKANAMBI VILLAGE, KOLLEGALA TOWN.
PROPERTY: DIFFERENT TYPES OF GODS IVORY IDOLS
MANGALORE FMS WLP NO.1/2013
- RAVINDRA BHAT, S/O LATE MARTHAPPA BHAT, MAHALASA, SURAL AREA, HOSANGADI, SIDDPURA, KUNDAPURA TQ.,
PROPERTY: 3 – IVORY IDOLS
PANDAVAPURA PS CR. No. 150/2013
- R MANOJ KUMAR S/O KANNAMANI, 38 YRS
- RAVI S/O RIPEET, 51 YRS,
RESIDENTS OF ANUVALU VILLAGE, NEWLAYOUT, SHIKARIPURA VILLAGE, PANDAVAPURA TQ
PROPERTY: 3 – IVORY IDOLS
BEERUR PS CR.NO.10/2013
- SURESH S/O MANI, 22 YRS,
- GOPALA S/O DORESWAMY, 35 YRS,
RESIDENTS OF TANNIGEBAYALU VILLAGE, LINGADAHALLI HOBLI, TARIKERE TQ.,
PROPERTY: 2 – ELEPHANT TUSKS, 17.5 KGS.
MANDYA EAST PS.CR.NO.174/2014
- SAHIB S/O SALEEM, 21 YRS, SADAT NAGAR, MANDYA TOWN
PROPERTY: 3- LEOPARD PELTS AND SKULL. 1 – DEER PELT
- SAMPATH KUMAR S/O MUNISWAMY, 43 YRS, # 4210, KARAHALLI ROAD, BANGARAPET TOWN, KOLAR DISTRICT
- K.M.VIJAYAKUMAR @ MANJU S/O MUNIYAPPA, 33 YRS, # KYASAMBALLI, BANGARPET TQ, KOLAR DIS
- NARENDRA, 33 YRS, YALAHANKA TOWN, B’LORE
- SEENAPPA, KARAHALLI ROAD, BANGARAPET TOWN, KOLAR DISTRICT
PROPERTY: 2 –ELEPHANT IVORY PIECES
R.F.O HALIYALA CR.NO. 01/2017, DETECTED BY CID, FOREST CELL, HQS.
- VBADESAB HUSAIN SAB KAKKERI. THATTAGERA VILLAGE, HALIYALA.
- DUWIN MUGEL SIDDI S/O MUGEL, 27 YRS., YTNAHOSUR, UTTARAKANNADA DISTRICT, HALIYALA
PROPERTY: 1 LEOPART PELT
SHRINIVASAPURA PS.CR.NO. 176/2017
- AMEERJAN S/O BATTAR SAB, 58 YRS, NO.62/A, HEBBETTU VILLAGE, SRINIVASAPUR TQ., KOLAR DISTRICT.
- JAKIR HUSSEN S/O SABIR AHMED, 27 YRS, HEBBETTU VILLAGE, SRINIVASAPUR TQ., KOLAR DISTRICT.
PROPERTY: 2 DEER PELTS. 1 DEER TROPHY.
- 04/2017 DETECTED BY CID, FOREST CELL, HQS.
- VIJAY S/O SHANGIRAM, 24 YRS, BALEGOWDANAHALLI VILLAGE, SHIDLAGHATTA, CHIKKABALLAPUR DISTRICT.
PROPERTY: 280 LIVE STAR TORTOISE
PENSION MOHALLA PS.CR.NO.23/2017 DETECTED BY BANGALORE HQ
- HARSHA S/O LT. SHIVAKUMAR, 29 YRS, AREHALLI, BELUR TQ., HASAN DISTRICT.
- RAJNIKANTH S/O M.V.NAGARAJ, 31 YRS, MUGLI VILLAGE, JALAGUR, SAKALESHPUR TQ., HASAN DISTRICT.
PROPERTY: 2 PIECES OF IVORY (8 KGs)
RFO SHRIRANGAPATTANA FOC NO.28/2017 DETECTED BY FMS MYSORE
- GANESH S/O SHRIKANTA, KENGERI, BANGALORE.
- SANTHOSH S/O HUCHEGOWDA, PALAHALLI, MANDYA DISTRICT.
PROPERTY: 415 KGs OF RED SANDERS
CHAMARAJANAGAR EAST PS.CR.NO.142/2017 DETECTED BY CID, FOREST CELL, HQS.
- RAMAKRISHNA S/O LT. GOVINDAPPA, 47 YRS, HANUR VILLAGE, KOLLEGALA, CHAMARAJANAGAR DISTRICT.
- SURESH @ NANI S/O LT. KRISHNAPPA, MARUTI EXTENSION, HUNSUR.
- MAHESH S/O LT. SHIVANNA, DODDAKANNA, MYSORE.
PROPERTY: 2 PIECES OF IVORY.
SANJAYANAGAR PS.CR.NO. 274/2017 DETECTED BY CID, FOREST CELL, HQS.
- RAJU REDDY S/O BABUREDDY, 28 YRS, V.V.PURAM, CHIKKABALLAPUR, GOWRIBIDANUR.
- S.R.RAMESH S/O RAMAKRISHNA, 30 YRS, BHOOPASANDRA, BANGALORE.
- VENKATESH NAIK S/O GOPAL NAIK, 31 YRS, MADENAHALLI THANDA, KORARAGERE
PROPERTY: 1 DEER PELT. 1 LIVE TORTOISE. 3 LIVE RED SAND BOA
GANGAVATI RURALPS.CR.NO. 284/2017 DETECTED BY CID, FOREST CELL, HQS.
- PAMPAIAH SWAMY S/O MRUTHYUNJAYA, 60 YRS, GANGAVATHI, KOPPAL DISTRICT.
- AMRAIAH SWAY S/O SHARABAIAH SWAMY, 45 YRS, GANGAVATHI, KOPPAL DISTRICT.
- RAJU S/O PARSAPPA, 24 YRS, BARGUR TQ., GANGAVATHI, KOPPAL DISTRICT.
- NAGARJ S/O PUTTANNA, 19 YRS, JALAHALLI, BANGALORE.
PROPERTY: LEOPARD PELT. BLACK BUCK PELTS. BLACK BUCK HORNS. DEER HORN. 4 LIVE TORTOISE