High-Powered Committee on Wild Animals?

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The Supreme Court has increased the jurisdiction and powers of a high-powered committee to conduct necessary checks and undertake fact-finding exercises concerning the import, transfer, procurement, rescue, and rehabilitation of wild animals, including those in captivity, across India.

Why in News?

  • It was initially constituted to oversee the transfer of captive wild elephants from the northeastern States. The ambit of the committee was earlier restricted to Tripura and Gujarat.
  • It will now have a wider responsibility and will cater to all wild animals in need of rehabilitation or rescue anywhere in India

About High-Powered Committee on Wild Animals:

  • It is set up under the chairmanship of former judge Justice Deepak Verma.
  • Mandate: To consider approval, dispute, or grievance concerning the transfer or import of wild animals into India or their procurement or welfare by any rescue or rehabilitation center or zoo.
  • Other Members of the Committee:
    • Director General of Forest
    • Head of Project Elephant Division (MoEF)
    • Member Secretary (Central Zoo Authority of India)
    • Chief Wild Life Warden(s) of the State(s) to which the issue relates will be co-opted as Members.
  • Powers and Functions:
    • All State and Central authorities shall report the seizure of wild animals or abandonment of captive wild animals to the Committee.
    • The Committee shall be at liberty to recommend the transfer of ownership of captive animals or of seized wild animals to any willing rescue center or zoo for their immediate welfare, care, and rehabilitation.
    • The Committee is free to conduct necessary checks and to undertake fact-finding exercises in any pending or future complaint.


Q1) Who is Chief WildLife Warden ?

The Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) is the statutory authority, under the Wildlife Protection Act, who heads the Wildlife Wing of the department and exercises complete administrative control over Protected Areas (PAs) within a state.

Source: Committee to oversee transfer and import of captive wild animals in India: Supreme Court