Chief Wildlife Warden ordered to allow farmers to hunt wild boars by the Kerala High Court in the case of K.V.Sebastian v. State of Kerala through Justice P.B.Suresh Kumar.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The farmers with land in the districts of Malappuram and Kozhikode started the current petition. The petitioners’ complaint concerned the loss of the crops on their agricultural fields due to the widespread introduction of wild boars from the neighboring forest.
The petitioners argued that the various measures adopted by the respondents to address the threat posed by wild boars in accordance with Section 11(1)(b) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (the Act), had failed, causing the petitioners to suffer irreparable harm and loss.
Therefore, using the authority granted by Section 62 of the Act, the petitioners asked the Central Government for instructions on how to declare wild boars to be vermin in the affected areas of the State.
Notably, the State Government requested the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India to declare wild boars as vermin in the problematic areas of the State during November 2020 after becoming convinced of the complaint voiced by people in similar positions to the petitioners. According to the Act’s provisions, if wild boars are deemed vermin, the afflicted parties may hunt them to protect their lives and property.
The Ministry responded to the State Government’s proposal by advising that, in order to address the threat, it use the provisions found in Section 11(1)(b) of the Act and the assistance of Panchayat Raj Institutions.
On June 17, 2021, the State Government brought up the issue once more with the Union government, asking them to declare wild boars as vermin in the problematic areas of the State after taking a number of different initiatives since 2011. The Central Government has not yet made a final decision regarding the State Government’s request.
According to Section 11(1)(b) of the Act, the Chief Wildlife Warden is authorised to grant a written permit to any person to hunt any wild animal listed in Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV if he is satisfied that the animal has become a danger to human life or to property, including standing crops on any land.
Given that the petitioners’ properties were in danger of being attacked by wild boars, the State Government’s position that the measures it had taken to address the threat under Section 11(1)(b) of the Act had been ineffective, and that the only way to safeguard the interests of the farmers was to declare wild boars to be vermin in certain State areas, thus, the Court passed an interim order directing the Chief Wildlife Warden to permanently banish wild boars from certain areas.
Therefore, in order to avoid crop destruction, the Kerala High Court ordered the Chief Wildlife Warden to allow farmers to hunt wild boars.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL