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The petitioner filed a PIL based on news reports alleging that Central Zoo Authority granted permission to GZRRC, a private Zoo, to import several endangered, vulnerable and threatened animals from abroad and domestically and in turn monetised from the same.
A Supreme Court bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari on August 16, 2022 dismissed a Public Interest Litigation challenging the establishment of a Zoo in Jamnagar, Gujarat by the Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre Society (GZRRC) which is supported by Reliance Industries Limited.
The bench while dismissing the PIL noted that there was hardly any reason for the court to interfere in the issue at hand.
The plea alleged that the Central Zoo Authority granted permission to GZRRC, a private Zoo, to import several endangered, vulnerable and threatened animals from abroad and domestically. It was further stated that GZRRC is planning to have the largest number of species and animals in Zoo in order to attract visitors and profit from the same, which is not permitted. It further alleged that GZRRC, under the pretext of making a Rescue Centre for animals is seeking to carry out commercial activity adding to the fact that Zoo and a Rescue Centre cannot be operated in the same premises.
GZRRC, in its counter, stated that it has been operating as a non-profit organisation with the principal objective of the welfare of animals. It also stated that except for Zoological Park, which would be open to the public, no other area would be open to the public and would be maintained only as Rescue Centre.
It was further stated that GZRRC is a Zoological Park and it would be operated essentially for educational purposes and to create awareness for promoting welfare of animals. GZRRC further stated that even if any revenue is generated from the Zoological Park, the same shall be, after payment of taxes, used only towards rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations.
The bench while dismissing the PIL, observed that it does not find any legal infirmity in grant of recognition to the Zoo and the Rescue Centre by Central Zoo Authority. It further noted that the allegations of the petitioner regarding lack of expertise on the part of GZRRC or regarding commercialisation remain uncertain and it does not appear that the petitioner has carried out the requisite research before moving the court in PIL jurisdiction.
The bench said, "In any case, when the subject field is to be taken care of by and is under the supervision of the Central Zoo Authority, and there appears no infirmity on its part, invoking of PIL jurisdiction cannot be countenanced."
The bench further said the "petitioner himself was not an expert in the field and hd based the petition merely on news reports which too, did not appear to have been made by the expert."
Case title: Kanhaiya Kumar Vs Central Zoo Authority
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