“Zoo” means an establishment, whether stationary or mobile, where captive animals are kept for exhibition to the public and includes a circus and rescue centres but does not include an establishment of a licensed dealer in captive animals.
Central Zoo Authority And Recognition Of Zoos
38-A. Constitution of Central Zoo Authority .—(1) The Central Government shall constitute a body to be known as the Central Zoo Authority (hereinafter in this Chapter referred to as the Authority), to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to it, under this Act.
(2) The Authority shall consist of—
(b) such number of members not exceeding ten; and
(c) member-secretary, to be appointed by the Central Government.
38-B. Term of office and conditions of service of chairperson and members, etc .—(1) The chairperson and every member other than the member-secretary shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, as may be specified by the Central Government in this behalf.
(2) The chairperson or a member may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government, resign from the office of chairperson or, as the case may be, of the member.
(3) The Central Government shall remove a person from the office of chairperson or member referred to in sub-section (2) if that person—
(a) becomes an undischarged insolvent;
(b) gets convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude;
(c) becomes of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent Court;
(d) refuses to act or becomes incapable of acting;
(e) is, without obtaining leave of absence from the authority, absent from three consecutive meetings of the Authority; or
(f) in the opinion of the Central Government has so abused the position of chairperson or member as to render that person’s continuance in office detrimental to the public interest:
Provided that no person shall be removed under this clause unless that person has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter.
(4) A vacancy caused under sub-section (2) or otherwise shall be filled by fresh appointment.
(5) The salaries and allowances and other conditions of appointment of chairperson, members and member-secretary of the Authority shall be such as may be prescribed.
(6) The Authority shall, with the previous sanction of the Central Government, employ such officers and other employees as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of the Authority.
(7) The terms and conditions of service of the officers and other employees of the Authority shall be such as may be prescribed.
(8) No act or proceeding of the Authority shall be questioned or shall be invalid on the ground merely of the existence of any vacancies or defect in the constitution of the Authority.
38-C. Functions of the Authority .—The Authority shall perform the following functions, namely:—
(a) specify the minimum standards for housing, upkeep and veterinary care of the animals kept in a zoo;
(b) evaluate and assess the functioning of zoos with respect to the standards or the norms as may be prescribed;
(c) recognise or derecognize zoos;
(d) identify endangered species of wild animals for purposes of captive breeding and assigning responsibility in this regard to a zoo;
(e) co-ordinate the acquisition, exchange and loaning of animals for breeding purposes;
(f) ensure maintenance of stud-books of endangered species of wild animals bred in captivity;
(g) identify priorities and themes with regard to display of captive animals in a zoo;
(h) co-ordinate training of zoo personnel in India and outside India;
(i) co-ordinate research in captive breeding and educational programmes for the purposes of zoos;
(j) provide technical and other assistance to zoos for their proper management and development on scientific lines;
(k) perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act with regard to zoos.
38-D. Procedure to be regulated by the Authority .—(1) The Authority shall meet as and when necessary and shall meet at such time and place as the chairperson may think fit.
(2) The Authority shall regulate its own procedure.
(3) All orders and decisions of the Authority shall be authenticated by the member-secretary or any other officer of the Authority duly authorised by the member-secretary in this behalf.
38-E. Grants and loans to Authority and constitution of Fund .—(1) The Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, make to the Authority grants and loans of such sums of money as that Government may consider necessary.
(2) There shall be constituted a Fund to be called the Central Zoo Authority Fund and there shall be credited thereto any grants and loans made to the Authority by the Central Government, all fees and charges received by the Authority under this Act and all sums received by the Authority from such other sources as may be decided upon by the Central Government.
(3) The Fund referred to in sub-section (2) shall be applied for meeting salary, allowances and other remuneration of the members, officers and other employees of the Authority and the expenses of the Authority in the discharge of its functions under this Chapter and expenses on objects and for purposes authorised by this Act.
(4) The Authority shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts in such form as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(5) The accounts of the Authority shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General at such intervals as may be specified by him and any expenditure incurred in connection with such audit shall be payable by the Authority to the Comptroller and Auditor-General.
(6) The Comptroller and Auditor-General and any person appointed by him in connection with the audit of the accounts of the Authority under this Act shall have the same rights and privileges and the authority in connection with such audit as the Comptroller and Auditor-General generally has in connection with the audit of the Government accounts and, in particular, shall have the right to demand the production of books, accounts, connected vouchers and other documents and papers and to inspect any of the offices of the Authority.
(7) The accounts of the Authority, as certified by the Comptroller and Auditor-General or any other person appointed by him in this behalf, together with the audit report thereon, shall be forwarded annually to the Central Government by the Authority.
38-F. Annual report .—The Authority shall prepare in such form and at such time, for each financial year, as may be prescribed, its annual report, giving a full account of its activities during the previous financial year and forward a copy thereof to the Central Government.
38-G. Annual report and audit report to be laid before Parliament .—The Central Government shall cause the annual report together with a memorandum of action taken on the recommendations contained therein, in so far as they relate to the Central Government, and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations and the audit report to be laid as soon as may be after the reports are received before each House of Parliament.
38-H. Recognition of zoos .—(1) No zoo shall be operated without being recognised by the Authority:
Provided that a zoo being operated immediately before the date of commencement of the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 1991 may continue to operate without being recognised for a period of eighteen months from the date of such commencement and if the application seeking recognition is made within that period, the zoo may continue to be operated until the said application is finally decided or withdrawn and in case of refusal for a further period of six months from the date of such refusal.
(1-A) On and after the commencement of the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2002 a zoo shall not be established without obtaining the prior approval of the Authority.
(2) Every application for recognition of a zoo shall be made to the Authority in such form and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed.
(3) Every recognition shall specify the conditions, if any, subject to which the applicant shall operate the zoo.
(4) No recognition to a zoo shall be granted unless the Authority, having due regard to the interests of protection and conservation of wild life, and such standards, norms and other matters as may be prescribed, is satisfied that recognition should be granted.
(5) No application for recognition of a zoo shall be rejected unless the applicant has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
(6) The Authority may, for reasons to be recorded by it, suspend or cancel any recognition granted under sub-section (4):
Provided that no such suspension or cancellation shall be made except after giving the person operating the zoo a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
(7) An appeal from an order refusing to recognise a zoo under sub-section (5) or an order suspending or cancelling a recognition under sub-section (6) shall lie to the Central Government.
(8) An appeal under sub-section (7) shall be preferred within thirty days from the date of communication to the applicant, of the order appealed against:
Provided that the Central Government may admit any appeal preferred after the expiry of the period aforesaid if it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal in time.
38-I. Acquisition of animals by a zoo .—(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, no zoo shall acquire, sell or transfer any wild animal or captive animal specified in Schedules I and II except with the previous permission of the Authority.
(2) No zoo shall acquire, sell or transfer any wild or captive animal except from or to a recognised zoo.
38-J. Prohibition of teasing, etc., in a zoo .—No person shall tease, molest, injure or feed any animal or cause disturbance to the animals by noise or otherwise, of litter the grounds in a zoo.