SC dismisses PIL towards zoo by Reliance developing in Jamnagar

The Supreme Court has dismissed a PIL opposing the permission granted by the Central Zoo Authority to the zoo being arrange by Reliance Industries Ltd in Gujarat’s Jamnagar, and allowing it to accumulate animals from different zoos in India or overseas, saying it’s “unable to find any logic or basis in” the “petition”.

Rejecting objections raised by petitioner Kanhaiya Kumar, a Delhi-based advocate, a bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari mentioned: “We are unable to find any legal infirmity in grant of recognition to the Zoo and the Rescue Centre of the respondent No. 2 (Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) by the respondent No. 1 (Central Zoo Authority).”

The courtroom added that “it does not appear that the petitioner has carried out the requisite research before moving this Court in PIL jurisdiction” and that “the petitioner himself is not an expert in the field and has based the petition merely on news reports which, too, do not appear to have been made by the expert”.

Kumar had questioned the permission granted to the Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, a non-public entity, to determine the zoo. He additionally sought an SIT probe into the administration of the centre.

Turning down the petitioner’s arguments, the bench mentioned “taking note of the submissions made in the counter affidavit with the accompanying documents, we are satisfied that the permission granted to “establish the zoo” and the consequential actions of the centre “cannot be said to be illegal or unauthorised”.

Kumar, who described himself as a “public spirited citizen… compassionate towards protection and improvement of wildlife,” had approached the courtroom citing experiences of the zoo getting animals from Mexico in addition to Assam, Chennai and Madhya Pradesh.

Kumar contended that “it is a private zoo for which master layout plan… was approved in February 2019, but it is not clear as to how it is qualified to take the animals from abroad or from a public zoo”.

The petitioner added that the Centre is planning to have the most important variety of species and animals within the zoo to make enterprise, which stays totally impermissible, and that within the garb of constructing rescue centre for animals, the zoo is searching for to hold out industrial exercise.

In its counter-affidavit, the Centre denied all of the allegations and asserted that the plea “is entirely misconceived, being based on incorrect and incomplete news reports”.

It knowledgeable the bench that the Central Zoo Authority “granted due recognition to the centre… after due inspection and evaluation”.

The counter-affidavit additionally gave particulars of varied points of the zoo’s functioning, together with the Leopard Rescue Centre and the Crocodile Rescue Centre, whereas sustaining that Vets, Curators, Biologists, Zoologists and different consultants are engaged to hold out the actions strictly when it comes to the stipulations of recognition and the provisions of regulation relevant, together with the Act of 1972 as additionally Recognition of Zoo Rules, 2009.

Taking exception to allegations of commercialisation, the authorities mentioned the zoo has been working as a non-profit organisation for the welfare of animals.

Except the zoological park, no different space could be open to the general public and could be maintained solely as rescue centre, zoo officers mentioned, including the zoological park itself could be operated primarily for instructional functions and creating consciousness for selling welfare of animals. It mentioned “…even if any revenue is generated from the park, it shall be, after payment of taxes, used only towards rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations”.

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