Case B: Pursuant to the prohibition on commercial trade in
scheduled animals [i.e. animals covered in Schedule I and
Schedule II (Part II)] in 1986, ex-licensed dealers in captive
elephants were required to declare their stocks to the
CWLW or AO on or before 25 January 1987. The CWLW
or the AO were expected to conduct an inquiry and affix
identification marks. Thereafter, the CWLW, with the prior
approval of the Director, Wildlife Preservation,
Government of India, could issue ownership certificates to
the ex-dealers for elephants that they wished to retain for
their bona fide personal use. This provision of the Act has
not been utilized, as there were no licensed dealers in
captive elephants prior to 1987. Persons dealing without a
licence in captive elephants before 1987 continue to do so
with impunity.

Case C: Immediately after inclusion in Schedule I,
elephants have become subject to Section 40(2) that
prohibits a person from possessing, acquiring, disposing of
and transporting a captive elephant without written
permission of the CWLW or the AO. No time limit has been
given to the owners for applying for permission. The Act
does not state clearly that the ‘written permission' will be in
the form of an ownership certificate. However, the CWLW
has been empowered under Section 42 to issue ownership
certificates for the purpose of applications under Section
40 (2). But neither the CWLWs nor the owners have made
use of this provision of the law.

Case D: An owner of a captive elephant not having an
ownership certificate is required to obtain prior permission
of the CWLW or the AO in writing before disposing of or
transporting his elephant. The Act prescribes that before
granting such permission, the CWLW or the AO should
satisfy himself that the elephant has been lawfully
acquired. Section 43(5) stipulates that the CWLW or the
AO shall issue a certificate of ownership after such inquiry
as he may deem fit and may affix an identification mark on
the elephant. This provision is superior to that of Section
42 because:

1) It suits the owners who may approach the AO (usually a
local Forest Officer) instead of the CWLW for an
ownership certificate;

2) Issuance of an ownership certificate is not discretionary
for the CWLW or the AO;

3) The CWLW and the AO have been given discretionary
powers in respect of inquiry for the purpose of ownership
certificates. Hence, they need not enter into complicated

Case D provides a very convenient way of granting
ownership certificates and most of the certificates at the
famous elephant fair at Sonepur are issued in this way.


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