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Express press service

NEW DELHI: Two years after the Supreme Court greenlit plans to introduce African cheetahs to various sites while ordering proper study on the matter, India will welcome the big cats today as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release them at an MP wildlife sanctuary.

However, the occasion is also a reminder of the legal entanglements that initially blocked their arrival and how India’s highest court, which initially stopped their entry, finally agreed to let them in.

The proposal to bring back the cheetah, which was declared extinct in the country in 1952, was initiated by the Wildlife Trust of India in 2009.

A decision was made by experts from around the world, the Department of Environment and state government officials to conduct site surveys to explore the potential for reintroduction of cheetahs.

The expert group set up by the central government in 2010 after site surveys recommended Kuno Palpur as the preferred location for their introduction.

Based on this, the MoEF around 2012 had decided to import African cheetahs from Namibia to India and introduce them to Kuno.

However, the plan was blocked by the SC Forestry Bench consisting of Judges KS Radhakrishnan and CK Prasad on April 15, 2013, when he overturned the MoEF’s order to introduce African cheetahs to Kuno saying that the same ” could not stand before the law”. .”

In 2017, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (“NTCA”) approached SC again asking for permission to introduce the species to suitable sites in India, saying African cheetahs would be experimentally introduced into a carefully selected habitat. , would be fed and watched to see if he can adapt to Indian conditions.

The NTCA had also assured the court that the species would be moved to another habitable forest in case it encountered difficulties.

A bench of former CJI SA Bobde, BR Gavai and Surya Kant on January 28, 2020, however, accelerated the introduction of a cheetah by forming a committee of experts to be led by former IAS Dr MK Ranjit Sinh.

“It is undesirable that this action of introducing African cheetahs into India should be left to the sole discretion of the NTCA, but we consider it appropriate that the NTCA be guided and directed by the committee of experts in the area that would carry out the investigation for the best place to introduce African cheetahs to India and make a careful decision on the viability of introducing this animal on a larger scale.The expert committee will also oversee the entire process and the NTCA will be guided to act in coordination with the Panel of Experts,” the court order said.

The SC order paved the way for the reintroduction of cheetahs to national parks under the “Action Plan for the Introduction of Cheetahs in India”.

NEW DELHI: Two years after the Supreme Court greenlit plans to introduce African cheetahs to various sites while ordering proper study on the matter, India will welcome the big cats today as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release them at an MP wildlife sanctuary. However, the occasion is also a reminder of the legal entanglements that initially blocked their arrival and how India’s highest court, first stopping their entry, finally agreed to let them in. The proposal to bring the cheetah, which was declared extinct in the country in 1952 back, was launched by the Wildlife Trust of India in 2009. A decision was made by experts from around the world, the Ministry of Environment and state government officials to conduct site surveys to explore the potential for cheetah reintroduction. The expert group set up by the central government in 2010 after site surveys recommended Kuno Palpur as the preferred location for their introduction. Based on this, the MoEF around 2012 had decided to import African cheetahs from Namibia to India and introduce them to Kuno. However, the plan was blocked by the SC Forestry Bench consisting of Judges KS Radhakrishnan and CK Prasad on April 15, 2013, when he overturned the MoEF’s order to introduce African cheetahs to Kuno saying that the same ” could not stand before the law”. .” In 2017, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (“NTCA”) approached SC again asking for permission to introduce the species to suitable sites in India, saying African cheetahs would be introduced experimentally in a carefully selected habitat. , would be fed and watched to see if he can adapt to Indian conditions. The NTCA had also assured the court that the species would be moved to another habitable forest in case it encountered difficulties. A bench of former CJI SA Bobde, BR Gavai and Surya Kant on January 28, 2020, however, accelerated the introduction of a cheetah by forming a committee of experts to be led by former IAS Dr MK Ranjit Sinh. “It is undesirable that this action of introducing African cheetahs into India should be left to the sole discretion of the NTCA, but we consider it appropriate that the NTCA be guided and directed by the committee of experts in the field that would carry out the investigation for the best place to introduce African cheetahs to India and make a careful decision on the viability of introducing this animal on a larger scale.The expert committee will also oversee the entire process and the NTCA will be guided to act in coordination with the panel of experts,” the court order said. of action for the introduction of cheetahs in India”.