Orientation for Judicial Officers on Environmental and Wildlife laws at the Delhi Judicial Academy

The Delhi Judicial Academy invited TRAFFIC India to conduct a one-day orientation programme on environmental and wildlife law for 83 trainee judicial officers on 30 March 2010. The purpose of this programme was to provide an overview on the current status of forest and wildlife policies and legislations and to raise awareness on the field situation and challenges of wildlife conservation in India.

The Hon. Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Shri Madan Lokur graced the occasion along with Shri A K Mukherji, Former Director General of Forests and Special Secretary, Government of India; Shri Samir Sinha, Head-TRAFFIC India; Prof. (Dr.) Ved Kumari, Chairperson DJA; Ms. Anu Malhotra, DHJS (Delhi Higher Judicial Services) and Director-DJA; Shri Alok Agarwal, DHJS and Joint Director-DJA; Shri Mahendra Vyas, Advocate and Member of the Central Empowered Committee, Supreme Court of India, Shri A D N Rao, Advocate-Supreme Court of India and Amicus Curie, Shri Ritwick Dutta, Advocate Supreme Court of India and other senior officials of the Delhi Judicial Academy.

The content of the programme included detailed sessions on issues of forestry conservation in India, overview of illegal wildlife trade in India, environmental law in India, an overview of the Gowdavarman case, and on the Supreme Court and Biodiversity Conservation in India.

While inaugurating the programme, Hon. Chief Justice Shri Madan Lokur said, “So far legal matters related to environment and forests have largely been restricted to High Courts and Supreme Court. There is a crying need for other courts to take cognizance of the importance of such issues.”

He further stated, “The powers vested with the judicial officers allow them to play a pivotal role in changing the mindsets of society towards various issues and especially those that may not have immediate direct impact on the lives of people like environment and wildlife. He therefore encouraged the officers to understand the environmental and wildlife laws and exercise decisions which help ensure ecological security for future generations.”

Shri Samir Sinha, Head of TRAFFIC India while providing an overview of the illegal wildlife trade in India further emphasized on the need to have judicial support for curbing wildlife crime in India.

Shri Mahendra Vyas, Advocate and Member of Central Empowered Committee too reminded all judicial officers of the enormous responsibility they bore in saving the natural heritage of the country.

This training is part of a module being conducted in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India. Phase II of this programme will be conducted in Dehradun at the Wildlife Institute of India along with a field trip to the Rajaji National Park.
The content of the programme included detailed sessions on issues of forestry conservation in India, overview of illegal wildlife trade in India
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