* Poaching linked with other dangerous trades, Chief Justice Bobde
GUWAHATI: The Chief Justice of India Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde has exhorted the intellectuals, experts and other stakeholders to come out together with a list of do's and don'ts in daily life for all citizens of the country to enable them to contribute towards protecting and preserving the precious wildlife without physically going to forests.
"Many of us know that we need to protect and preserve our forests and wildlife. But we do not know how to do it. So, there is a need to come out with a list of do's and don'ts. If we follow the list, we do not have to go to the forests to save wildlife," said Justice Bobde.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was delivering the valedictory lecture at an orientation programme on protection of wildlife for judicial officers of Assam at Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara here on Saturday evening. The orientation programme was organized by the Gauhati High Court, Judicial Academy, Assam and World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India.
Justice Bobde further said that poaching is not only a threat for wildlife but also dangerous for the human society as those associated with poaching are also connected to other illegal trades such as narcotics drugs, gun running and other international illegal trades. He added that it is extremely dangerous that money earned from poaching is diverted to other dangerous trades.
"Sometimes I wonder whether mankind should take all the blame for endangering wildlife, forest and environment. I believe that dinosaur got extinct due to natural reasons. In the past, human beings were dependent on wildlife for many reasons. For example, horses and elephants were used for war. But with revolution in mechanization, the dependence of human beings on animals became lesser; and thus mankind started ignoring wildlife," said Justice Bobde.
The CJI also said there should be strict restrictions on the use of man-made modern machines as they are responsible for destroying forests and wildlife.
Appreciating the Judicial Academy, Assam and WWF-India for organizing the orientation programme, Justice Bobde said that such programmes should be organized at the national level. "It is really nice to see that the judges who always make the people to follow rules, are now studying laws to preserve the jungle," he said. He urged the WWF-India to keep in touch with the National Judicial Academy under the Supreme Court to organize programmes to use laws to protect wildlife.
Chief Justice (Acting) of the Gauhati High Court, Justice N. Kotiswar Singh said that the freedom to remain on earth is not a prerogative only for the human beings. He further said that there are laws to ensure the rights of animals (who cannot speak or organize like human beings) to survive on this earth.
Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Justice Arup Kumar Goswami said that wildlife is in jeopardy across India with many forest areas turning barren.
Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Hrishikesh Roy said that even though 2020 is a tough year for the world, wildlife has reclaimed its life in many parts of the globe. Narrating inspiring real-life stories to enrich the wildlife in Assam, Justice Roy recalled the contributions of ranger Narayan Sarma to the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. He said that Sarma who was trampled by a wild elephant, transformed the life of dreaded poacher like Joinal Abedin — who is now a wildlife conservationist.
Besides the judicial officers, the judges from the Gauhati High Court, wildlife activists and experts attended the valedictory session.