Indian Law Commission 171st Report on Bio-diversity Bill-01/19/2000

LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA

ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FIRST REPORT ON BIODIVERSITY BILL

No.6(3)(6)/99-LC(LS)

January 19, 2000

Dear Shri Jethmalani Ji,

I am forwarding herewith the 171st Report on the Bio-diversity Bill.

2. The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on the Demands for Grants (1998-99) of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs desired, in paragraph 28 of their 45th Report, that the Law Commission should undertake study in the field of intellectual property rights, laws relating to trade and investment and other matters pertaining to World Trade Organisation (WTO).

3. The Commission, in its response to Department of Legal Affairs, expressed its readiness and willingness to undertake the study of the subject but indicated that there was need for laying down appropriate terms of reference for such a study and for providing services of a full-time technical expert in the field as the subjects might involve policy issues. Thereafter, the Commission did not hear in the matter. As such, the Commission decided not to wait any longer and proceeded to take up the specific issue of biodiversity legislation. Earlier, the Commission had also forwarded its 167th Report on “The Patents (Amendment) Bill, 1998” which relates to intellectual property rights and the WTO regime.

4. Recently, December 29, 1999 was observed, all over the world, as the international day for biological diversity. The Convention on Biodiversity which entered into force on this day in 1993 is the main instrument that the international community has given to itself with which to preserve the fragile web of life of our one and only earth. There are now 176 parties to the Convention which has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and fair and eqauitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources. These three areas are interdependent and progress in each area is essential to make the Convention successful. In a communique of the Meeting of the Commonwealth Law Ministers, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago held on May 5-7, 1999, the Ministers recognized the importance of the provisions relating to access to biological resources in article 15 of the said Convention. It was observed that though many developing countries were rich in biological diversity, relatively few had taken steps to implement the provisions of article 15 in the national legislation and practice. The Meeting also noted the significance of the Convention’s provisions relating to intellectual property rights, not least in the context of rights in plants used in traditional medicines. The Commonwealth Secretariat was asked to render advice and assistance in the implementation of the Convention (Commonwealth Law Bulletin, vol. 25, Spring 1999, p.563).

5. The Commission undertook the study of Biodiversity Bill as is understood to have been prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. With a view to achieving the objectives of the legislation, a large number of additions, alterations and amendments in the Bill have been recommended. The role of the specified authorities has been straightened and provisions relating to access to the biodiversity have been made more specific. In order to provide teeth, several offences have been created to provide safeguards against unauthorised exploitation of biodiversity and theft of traditional knowledge and knowledge of local communities. The provisions of the Bill also seek to entitle the local communities to the benefit sharing where they are made to part with their knowledge. We had the benefit of research done in this behalf in several countries including Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Columbia. We have also taken into consideration the Report of the Expert Committee on Biodiversity Legislation headed by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan as well as materials received from various other quarters. The changes and additions made by us make the Bill more methodological and expansive to take care of most of our concerns in the field of biodiversity.

6. The Bill prepared by us is enclosed with the brief Report and the provisions thereof speak for themselves.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

 

(B.P. Jeevan Reddy)

Shri Ram Jethmalani,

Minister for Law, Justice and

Company Affairs,

Shastri Bhavan,

NEW DELHI

INDEX

Sl.No. Contents

1. Report on Biodiversity Bill

2. Annexure-A

THE_BIOLOGICAL_DIVERSITY_BILL,_2000

REPORT ON BIODIVERSITY BILL

The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on the Demands for Grants (1998-1999) of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs desired, in their 45th Report, that the Law Commission of India should undertake study in the field of intellectual property rights, laws relating to trade and investment and other matters pertaining to World Trade Organization (WTO) regime. Para 28 which occurs under the heading ‘General Recommendations’ of the said Report (which was forwarded to the Law Commission by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Department of Legal Affairs, through their letter dated 3/5.8.1998) reads as follows:-

“28. Under the World Trade Organisation regime, the country is entering into important international agreements which will have tremendous impact on our normal commercial activities. For example, laws relating to the intellectual property rights, laws relating to trade and investment, which were not very much in the focus until the recent past, have become priority items in the economic agenda of the country. In the light of this background, the Committee recommends that the Law Commission should undertake study in this field and come out with appropriate recommendations within a given time frame.”

The Law Commission of India had written to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company affairs. Department of Legal Affairs (vide letter F.No.G-20011/1/98-LC dated 21st September, 1998) expressing our readiness and willingness to undertake the study and make the appropriate recommendations, as desired by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, if appropriate terms of reference for such a study are indicated to it and the services of a full time technical expert in the field are provided as the subjects may involve policy matters as well. It was also requested that the Law Commission of India may be apprised with the progress made up to date by the concerned Ministries/Departments to avoid duplication of the work already done. There has been no response to our letter.

Indeed, the terms of reference given to the present Law Commission while constituting it, do also oblige, and empower, this commission to undertake the present study and make the accompanying recommendations.

In the above circumstances, the Commission thought it advisable not to wait any longer and to proceed with the work on its own after obtaining copies of the bills already prepared, if any, by the concerned Ministries on various topics and to express its views thereon along with its own suggestions for amendments, changes and modifications in the bills prepared by the concerned Ministries. Accordingly, the Law Commission had submitted its 167th Report on “The Patents (amendment) Bill, 1998”, a copy of which was forwarded to the Hon’ble Minister of Industry also, inasmuch as the Industry Ministry had prepared the said Bill and the Hon’ble Minister of Industry was piloting the Bill in the Parliament.

The Law Commission of India has now taken up the study of the Bio-Diversity Bill understood to have been prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and is recommending herewith several additions, alterations and amendments, which in our opinion, are called for in the draft Bill prepared by the said Ministry to better achieve the objectives of the legislation. The objectives of the proposed legislation have been adumbrated in the preamble to the Bill, as well as in the Preamble to the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and in the various articles of the said convention particularly in Articles 1, 3 and in paras (1) and (5) of Article 15. We have added a large number of new definitions. We have also straightened the respective fields of jurisdiction between the Central Government and the National Authority. With a view to make the National Authority truly effective, we have made some changes in its composition and increased the powers of the National Authority substantially. The provisions relating to access to bio-diversity have been made more specific and several offences have been created to safeguard against unauthorised exploitation of bio-diversity and theft of traditional knowledge and knowledge of local communities. In short, the present exercise is aimed at formulating the structure and process so to ensure conservation and sustainable utilisation of biological diversity as well as fair and equitable sharing of its benefits. One of the objects of our exercise has also been to entitle the local communities to the benefit-sharing where they are made to part with their knowledge. The changes made by us in the Bill speak for themselves and it is not necessary to set out each and every change in this part, particularly because they are highly technical in nature and do not bear abridgement or summarisation. While recommending the proposed legislation, we have kept in view the research work done in this behalf in several countries including Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Columbia. We found the Columbian law very helpful in this behalf. The work done in Australia is particularly useful. The Law Commission has also taken into consideration the Report of the Expert Committee on Biodiversity Legislation constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the Chairmanship of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan as well as the vast amount of literature published by various expert bodies, non-governmental organisations and other experts in the field, both within the country and abroad. We may point out in particular that section 3 in our draft, which speaks of application of Uruguay Round Agreements corresponds to section 102 of Uruguay Round Agreements Act, 1994 of U.S.A.

It may be stated that the accompanying Bill has taken the Bill prepared by the Ministry of Environment as its basis, with a view to avoid repetition of work. We have suggested additions and alterations consistent with the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992 and our national interests. The changes and additions made by us are not only extensive but seek to make the Bill more methodical and expansive to take care of most of our concerns in the field of biotechnology.

The Bill finally prepared by us is enclosed herewith as Annexure-A.

We recommend accordingly.

(MR. JUSTICE B.P. JEEVAN REDDY) (RETD.)

CHAIRMAN

(MS. JUSTICE LEILA SETH) (RETD.) (DR. N.M. GHATATE) (DR. SUBHASH C. JAIN)

MEMBER MEMBER MEMBER SECRETARY

 

DATED: 17 JANUARY. 2000.

THE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY BILL, 2000

A Bill to provide for conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable
sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources in India.

WHEREAS there is an urgent need for conservation of biological diversity and associated traditional and
contemporary rich knowledge in India and to take steps for its sustainable utilisation and equitable sharing of
benefits out of such utilisation.

AND WHEREAS there is urgent need to develop scientific, technical and institutional capacities so as to
anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of significant reduction and loss of biological diversity at source in
India;

AND WHEREAS the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity which entered into force on 23rd
December, 1993 and to which India is a party reaffirms that the States have sovereign rights over their own biological
resources and that they are responsible for conserving their biological diversity and using their biological
resources in a sustainable manner; and also for fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of
utilisation of biological and genetic resources;

AND WHEREAS India recognises the prime need to protect, preserve and promote the health, environment and
the food security of its citizens including the bio-safety of its population and the traditional knowledge and
practices of its people.

AND WHEREAS it is considered necessary to;

(A) secure national legal commitment for protection of
biological diversity and the maintenance of
ecological processes and systems;

(B) establish a national legislative framework for the
conservation of biological diversity and the
ecologically sustainable development of its
components;

(C) ensure that safe biodiversity conservation standards
for decision-making and activities are established
as a means of operationalising the precautionary
principle in order to anticipate, prevent and attack
the causes of significant reduction and loss of
biological diversity in the face of scientific
uncertainty;

(D) prevent species and ecological communities from
becoming vulnerable and to protect critical habitat;

(E) codify national institutional and administrative
arrangements necessary to implement the United
Nations Convention on Biological Diversity;

(F) establish awareness to care for the environment
among all natural resource owners, managers, users
and others whose actions could foreseeably harm the
environment;

(G) ensure adequate funding for achievement of the above
objects.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fiftieth Year of
the Republic of India as follows:-

CHAPTER-I
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title:
extent, application and commencement.-

(1) This Act may be called the Biological Diversity Act, 2000.

(2) It extends to the whole of India including the maritime exclusive economic zone.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the official
Gazette, appoint.

(4) It shall apply to

(a) all varieties of life-forms including plants
and animals and micro-organisms belonging to all
general species, wild or cultivated, occurring
naturally or modified in any manner through any
process, in relation to their cell lives, generic
material, characteristics, traits, products and the
processes involved therein.

(b) any level of continental, pelagic, coastal
or insular biological organisation that is found in
national territory and in the waters under its
jurisdiction.

Explanation: The expression “continental, pelagic,
coastal or insular biological organisation” shall mean and
include fungi, algae, micro-organisms, animal and vegetable
species and lineages, whether native, undomesticated,
cultivated, bred or escaped from domestication.

2. Definitions.-

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) “access” means (a) obtaining, for whatever purpose,
samples of biotic, genetic and transgenic resources, their
products, sub-products, derivatives and resulting synthetic
products, as well as the knowledge, innovations and
practices associated with them; (b) activities leading to
knowledge, exploration, research, collection, gathering,
transformation, utilisation, mobilization,
commercialisation and industrial application of or into
those resources as well as the utilization of populations,
individuals, organisms or parts of these as a source of
biological, genetic and transgenic resources.

(ai) “Act” means the Biological Diversity Act, 2000;

(b) “Alien species” means a species occurring in an area
outside its historically known natural range as a result of
intentional or accidental dispersal by human activities
(including exotic organisms, genetically modified organisms
and translocated species);

(bi) “benefits” shall mean the benefits to be made
available to owners of biological resources and shall also
include; (a) the results of the application of an
improvement of a component of bio-diversity which may be of
social or environmental utility and (b) economic values,
information, and access to technologies.

(c) “Biodiversity Management Committees” means the
Biodiversity Management Committees constituted under
Section 14;

(d) “Biological Diversity” means the variability among
living organisms from all sources including terrestrial,
marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological
complexes of which they are part including diversity within
species, between species and of ecosystems including
genetic diversity;

(e) “Biological Resources” means plants, animals and
micro-organisms, or parts thereof, and their genetic
material and by-products, with actual or potential use or
value or any other biotic component of ecosystems with
actual or potential use or value for humanity.

Explanation: Wild, native and domesticated organism
originating in India, irrespective of whether they
currently occur in India or not and the foreign
repositories of germ-plasm originating in India shall be
deemed to be included within the expression “biological
resources”.

(f) “Bio-prospecting” means survey and collection of
species, sub-species genes, compounds and extracts of
biological resource for any purpose and includes
characterisation, inventorisation and bio-assay and shall
include exploration, research, gathering, making of
inventories, taking of samples and taxonomic identification
of biotic and genetic resources, ethno-biological knowledge
and other associated activities destined, directly or
indirectly, for the identification of promising or
effective sources for products or processes.

(g) “Bio-region” means a territory defined by a
combination of biological, social and geographic criteria,
as may be declared as such by notification in the Official
Gazette;

(h) “Bioregional planning” includes the integration and
coordination of measures to conserve biodiversity in an
ecologically sustainable development and biophysical
framework;

(i) “Biosurvey” and “bioutilisation” means survey or/and
collection of species, sub-species, genes, compounds and
extracts of biological resource for any purpose and
includes characterisation, inventorisation and bioassay.

(j) “bio-technology” shall mean every technological
application which utilizes biological systems, parts of
live organisms or their derivatives for the creation or
modification of products or processes;

(k) “Byproduct” means a compound, molecule or any
extract of a living or dead organism resulting from any
metabolic process;

(l) “Conservation of biological diversity” means the
management of human interactions and genes, species and
ecosystems to ensure the greatest sustainable benefit to
current generations while maintaining their potential to
meet the needs of future generations and shall include the
protection, preservation, maintenance, rehabilitation,
restoration and enhancement of biological diversity;

(m) “Convention on Biological Diversity” means the
Convention on Biological Diversity opened for signature on
5th June, 1992 at the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in
Brazil in June, 1992 and which entered into force with
effect from 29th December, 1993;

(ma) “eco-system” means a dynamic complex of vegetable,
animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living
environment which interact as a functional unit, including
human beings.

(n) “Equitable Benefit Sharing” means the sharing of
benefits mutually agreed upon by the National Authority and
where relevant in consultation with local bodies and/or
individuals and the applicant for the accessed biological
resources, their by-products, knowledge, innovations and
practices associated with their use and application;

(o) “Ex-situ Conservation” means the conservation of
components of biological diversity outside their natural
habitats and “ex-situ Conservation Centre” shall mean any
place where biological and genetic resources are conserved
away from their insitu conditions including botanical
gardens, herbariums, centres of cultivation and germplasm
banks.

(p) “Genetic material” means any material or plant,
animal, microbial or other origin containing functional
units of heredity including genetic material contained in
soil and sediment and “genetic resources” means genetic
material of actual or potential value;

(q) “Heritage sites” means areas important from the
standpoint of biological diversity with respect to its
conservation and sustainable use, notified under the
present Act by the State Government;

(r) “In situ conservation” means the conservation of
ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and
recovery of viable populations of species in their natural
surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated
species, in the surroundings where they have developed
their distinctive properties;

(s) “Knowledge” includes oral knowledge required through
or passed on from generation to generation;

(si) “local community” shall mean human groups whose
social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish it
from other sectors of national collectivity and which is
completely or partially governed by its own customs or
traditions or by a special legislation.

(t) “National Bio-diversity Authority” means the
National Biodiversity Authority established under section 4;

(u) “Prescribed” means prescribed by Rules made under this Act;

(v) “Principles of ecologically sustainable development”
include the effective integration of long term
environmental and economic considerations into
decision-making processes in order to promote the objective
of environmental protection which shall be achieved through
the implementation of, amongst other things, the following
principles and programmes:-

(i) The precautionary principle, implying that
if there is a threat of significant reduction or
loss of biological diversity or a threat of serious
or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full
scientific certainty shall not be a ground for
postponing measures to prevent or minimise such a
threat;

(ii) inter-generational equity, meaning that the
present generation should ensure that the health,
diversity and productivity of the environment is
maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future
generations;

(iii) conservation of biological diversity and
ecological integrity as a fundamental and primary
consideration;

(iv) improved valuation and pricing of environmental
resources;

(v) recognition that the environmental impact of
actions and policies occurs at local, regional and
global levels; and

(vi) the relevance of community participation in the
decision-making processes and the formulation of
policies, programmes and plans.

(w) “Prior Informed Consent” means the consent of the
National Authority for granting access to biological
resources and/or knowledge related thereto, based on the
information provided by the applicant, disclosing fully the
intent of the access and other particulars specified by
this Act and the Rules made thereunder.

(x) “Protected area” means a geographically defined area
which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve
specific conservation projects;

(y) “Research” means study or systematic investigation
of any biological resource or technological application
that uses biological systems, living organisms or
derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or
processes for any use;

(z) “Rules” means the rules framed under the Act.

(za) “Regulations” means the regulations framed by the
National Biodiversity Authority;

(zb) “State Biodiversity Board” means a Board established
under section 12;

(zc) “Sustainable use” means the use of components of
biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not
lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity,
thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and
aspirations of present and future generations;

(zd) “Threatened species” means species that are in
immediate danger of extinction or likely to become extinct
or are in danger of becoming extinct in the near future as
notified by the Central Government or a State Government
from time to time;

(ze) “Uruguay Round Agreements” mean and include all
agreements signed by India during the Uruguay Round
of Negotiations under the auspices of GATT/WTO.

(zf) “Voucher specimen” means a reference sample;

(2) Words and expressions not defined herein shall
respectively carry the meaning assigned to them in the
Convention on Biological Diversity;

3. Application of Uruguay Round Agreements.- No
provision of any of Uruguay Round Agreements including the
Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights in
so far it is inconsistent with any of the provisions of
this Act, shall have effect.

CHAPTER II
ESTABLISHMENT AND CONSTITUTION OF NATIONAL AUTHORITY

4. Establishment and constitution of National
Biodiversity Authority.-

(1) With effect from such date as the Central
Government may, by notification in the Official
Gazette, appoint in this behalf, there shall be
established for the purpose of this Act, a National
Authority to be called the National Biodiversity
Authority.

(2) The National Authority shall be a body corporate
by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession
and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and
dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and
to enter into contract, and shall by the same name
sue and be sued.

(3) The Head Office of the National Authority shall
be at New Delhi and the National Authority may,
establish offices or agencies at other places in or
outside India with the approval of the Central
Government.

(4) The National Authority shall consist of the
following members:-

(a) The Chairperson, to be appointed by the Central
Government, who shall be a person of eminence with
such expertise and experience as may be prescribed;

(b) two members to be appointed by the Central
Government from among the officers of the Ministry
of Environment & Forests, one of whom shall be from
the discipline of botany or zoology;

(c) five members, ex-officio, to be appointed by the Central Government from among its officers belonging
to each of the following disciplines:

(i) Agricultural research and education;
(ii) Biotechnology;
(iii) Ocean Development;
(iv) Law; and
(v) Patents.

(d) five members, to be appointed by the Central
Governemnt from amongst specialists and scientists
who are conversant with and have expertise in
matters relating to,-

(i) conservation of biological diversity;
(ii) sustainable use of biological resources
and equitable sharing of benefits arising
out of such use;
(iii) conservation and creation of
biologicial resources, and holding knowledge
and information relating to such use;
(iv) legal expertise in the aforesaid
matters; and
(v) industry and commerce.

(5) The Chairperson and the members appointed under
clause (b) and (c) of sub-section (4) shall be full
time members of the National Authority and the term
of their appointment shall be four years from the
date of their appointment.

(6) The Chairperson and the non-official members
shall be eligible for reappointment for another term
subject to the age of superannuation, if any, as may
be prescribed.

(7) No act or proceeding of the National Authority
or any committee appointed by it under section 8
shall be invalid merely by reason of,-

(a) any vacancy in, or any defect in the
constitution of the National Authority or
such committee; or

(b) any irregularity in the procedure of the
Authority or such committee not affecting
merits of the case.

(8) The National Authority shall meet at such time
and place and shall observe such rules of procedure
in regard to transaction of business at its meetings
(including the quorum) as may be prescribed by the
regulations.

(9) The Central Government may remove from office,
the Chairperson or any non-official member, who
(a) has been adjudged as insolvent; or
(b) has been convicted and sentenced to
imprisonment for an offence which, in the
opinion of the Central Government, involves
moral turpitude; or
(c) has become physically or mentally
incapable of acting as a member; or
(d) has acquired such financial or other
interests as are likely to affect
prejudicially his functions as a member; or
(e) has so abused his position as to render
his continuance in office prejudicial to the
public interest.

5. Salary, allowances and other conditions of
service of Chairperson and members.-

(1) The Chairperson and members shall be entitled to
such salary and allowance and shall be subject to such
conditions of service in respect of leave, pension,
provident fund and other matters as may, from time to time,
be prescribed.

(2) The members appointed under clauses (b) and (c)
of sub-section (4) of section 4 shall receive such
allowances and shall be subject to such terms and
conditions as may be prescribed.

(3) The member, other than a member
appointed under clauses (b) or (c) of
sub-section (4) of section 4, may resign his
office by giving notice thereof in writing
to the Central Government and on such
resignation being accepted, the member shall
be deemed to have vacated his office.

6. Chairperson to be Chief Executive.-

The Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive Officer
of the National Authority and shall exercise such powers
and perform such duties as may be prescribed.

7. Secretary, Chief Accountants and Finance Officer and
other staff.-

(1) The Central Government shall appoint a Secretary
and a Chief Accounts and Finance Officer to the National
Authority who shall exercise such powers and perform such
duties as may be prescribed or as may be delegated to them
by the Chairperson.

(2) The Secretary and the Chief Accounts and Finance
Officer shall be subject to such conditions of
service in respect of leave, pension, provident fund
and other matters as may, from time to time, be
fixed by the Central Government.

(3) The National Authority may appoint such other
officers and employees, as may be necessary, for the
efficient performance of its functions and the
method of appointment, the scale of pay and
allowances and other conditions of service of such
other officers and employees of the National
Authority shall be such as may be provided by the
Authority by regulations.

7A. Bar to undertake any other work.-

The Chairperson, members appointed under clauses (b)
and (c) of sub-section (4) of section 4, the
Secretary, the Chief Accounts and Finance Officer
and other officers and employees of the National
Authority shall not undertake any work unconnected
with their duties under this Act, except with the
permission of the Central Government.

8. Committees of National Authority.-

(1) The National Authority may create such committees as
may be necessary for the efficient discharge of its duties
and performance of its functions under this Act.

(2) The National Authority shall have the power to
co-opt as members of any committee created under
sub-section (1) such number of persons, who are not members
of the National Authority, as it may think fit and the
persons so co-opted shall have the right to attend the
meetings of the committee and take part in its proceedings
but shall not have the right to vote.

(3) The persons co-opted as members of a committee under
sub-section (2) shall be entitled to receive such
allowances for attending meetings of the committee as may
be fixed by the National Authority.

Chapter III
Responsibilities of the Central Government

9. General Measures for conservation and sustainable
use.-

(1) The Central Government shall in consultation
with the National Authority and keeping in view the
particular conditions and capabilities of different
regions in the country,

(a) Develop national strategies, plans or
programmes for the consevation and
sustainable use of biological diversity and
to adapt for this purpose existing
strategies, plans or programmes; and

(b) Promote programmes oriented towards the
improvement of the methods of production,
conservation and distribution of foods with
the full utilisation of national and
international technical and scientific
knowledge which is environmentally and
culturally clean and secure and shall also
work towards perfecting the present agrarian
regime consistent with the objectives of
social and economic justice.

(c) Prohibit by order in writing grant of
patents or other individual intellectual
property rights on cultivated species or
substances improved on breeding farms which
are used as an alimentary or medicinal base
or have a cultural use if such grant
constitutes or is likely to constitute a
serious threat to the environmental security
of crops or animal species or to national
integral bio-safety.

Provided that the affected party shall be
given an opportunity to make a
representation before the decision is taken
by the Central Government.

Explanation- The prohibition under this
clause shall also apply to exclusive
marketing rights which may be available
under the Patents Act, 1970.

(d) Determine the manner in which the National
Biodiversity Fund shall be utilised;

(e) Determine its response in the matter of
grant of intellectual property protection on
biological resource and associated knowledge
obtained from India whether by any person
whether citizen, non-citizen resident or a
non-resident and

(f) Take steps for developing natural resource
accounting systems and techniques and to
conserve representative eco-system such as
wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs.

(g) Take steps to promote and encourage
understanding of the importance of and the
measures required for, the conservation of
biological diversity including its
propagation through media and other
educational programmes.

(h) Adopt measures to regulate any activity
involving the exploration and exploitation
of the sea-bed or of its sub-soil or the
modification of the configuration of the
bottom of the sea in coastal and marine
areas.

FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE NATIONAL AUTHORITY

10. Functions of National Authority.-

(1) Subject to such directions as may be issued by the
Central Government under this Act, it shall be the
responsibility of the National Authority to undertake and
implement measures as may be required for an effective
implementation of this Act and for that purpose to make
appropriate orders and give appropriate directions for the
protection of biodiversity of India and its sustainable
use.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers
conferred under sub-section(1), the National Authority
shall take steps to,-

(a) identify componments of biological diversity
important for its conservation and sustainable use
having regard to (i) ecosystems and habitats
containing high diversity, large numbers of endemic
or threatened species, or wilderness, those required
by migratory species or which are of social,
economic, cultural or scientific importance or,
which are representative, unique or associated with
key evolutionary or other biological processes; (ii)
species and communities which are threatened and
wild relatives of domesticated or cultivated species
or which are of medicinal, agricultural or other
economic value or of social, scientific or cultural
importance or of importance for research into the
conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity, such as indicator species; and (iii)
described genomes and genes of social, scientific or
economic importance;

(b) monitor through sampling and other techniques,
the components of biological diversity identified
pursuant to clause (a) above, paying particular
attention to those requiring urgent conservation
measures and those which offer the greatest
potential for subtainable use;

(c) identify processes and categories or activities
which have or are likely to have significant adverse
impacts on the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity, and monitor their effects
through sampling and other techniques; and

(d) maintain and organize, by any mechanism, the
data derived from the identification and monitoring
activities pursuant to clauses (a), (b) and (c)
above;

(e) establish a system of protected area or areas
where special measures need to be taken to conserve
biological diversity in co-ordination with the
concerned authorities in environmental, forest and
other concerned sectors;

(f) develop, where necessary, guidelines for the
selection, establishment and management of protected
area or areas where special measures need to be
taken to conserve biological diversity;

(g) regulate or manage biological resources
important for the conservation of biological
diversity whether within or outside protected areas,
with a view to ensuring their conservation and
sustainable use and to establish a system of
registry of all biological and genetic resources
available within the country and containing such
particulars as may be prescribed;

(h) promote the protection of ecosystems, natural
habitats and the maintenance of viable populations
of species in natural surroundings;

(i) promote environmentally sound and sustainable
development in areas adjacent to protected areas
with a view to furthering protection of these areas;

(j) rehabilitate and restore degraded ecosystems and
promote the recovery of threatened species, inter
alia, through the development and implementation of
plans or other management strategies;

(k) establish or maintain means to regulate, manage
or control the risks associated with the use and
release of living modified organisms resulting from
biotechnology which are likely to have adverse
environmental impacts that could affect the
conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity, taking also into account the risks to
human health;

(l) prevent the introduction of, and control or
eradicate alien species which threaten ecosystems,
habitats or species;

(m) endeavour to provide the conditions needed for
compatibility between present uses and conservation
of biological diversity and the sustainable use of
its components;

(n) preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and
practices of local communities embodying traditional
lifestyles relevant for the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity and promote
their wider application with the approval and
involvement of the holders of such knowledge,
innovations and practices and encourage the
equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the
utilization of such knowledge, innovations and
practices; identify the owners of biological
resources and make appropriate orders regarding
benefit sharing subject to the provisions of section
18;

(o) develop and maintain necessary regulatory
provisions for the protection of threatened species
and populations;

(p) adopt measures for the ex-situ conservation of
components of biological diversity;

(q) establish and maintain facilities for ex-situ
conservation of and research on plants, animals and
micro-organisms;

(r) adopt measures for the recovery and
rehabilitation of threatened species and for their
reintroduction into their natural habitats under
appropriate conditions;

(s) regulate and manage collection of biological
resources from natural habitats for purposes of
ex-situ conservation and so as not to threaten
ecosystems and in-situ populations of species,
except where special temporary ex-situ measures are
required under subparagraph (c) above.

(t) Integrate, as far as possible, and as
appropriate, the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity into relevant sectoral or
cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies;

(u) undertake measures for environmental impact
assessment of proposed projects that are likely to
have adverse effects on biological diversity with a
view to avoiding or minimising such effects and,
where appropriate, allow public participation in
such procedures;

(v) undertake steps for inventorisation and
monitoring of components of biodiversity and of
processes adversely impacting it, for restoration of
degraded ecosystems and recovery of endangered
species and for developing educational and public
awareness programmes with respect to conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity;

(w) take measures to regulate, manage and
control the risks associated with the use and
release of living modified organisms resulting from
biotechnology which are likely to have adverse
environmental impacts that could affect the
conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity, taking also into account the risks to
human health.

(x) establish and maintain programmes for scientific
and technical education and training in measures
aimed at the identification, conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity and its
components and provide support for such education
and training for the specific needs of each State;

(y) promote and encourage research which contributes
to the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity, in each state;

(z) promote and cooperate in the use of scientific
advances in biological diversity, research in
developing methods for conservation and sustainable
use of biological resources.

(za) notify, in consultation with the Central
Government, national parks and other units of
conservation;

(zb) such other functions as may be assigned to it
by the Central Government.

11. Guidelines for benefit sharing biological
resources.-

(1) The National Authority shall frame guidelines,-

(a) governing access to and benefit sharing of
biological resources consistent with the objectives
of this Act, without adversely affecting the rights
of the local people to non-timber forest produce
available to them under the laws and prevailing
customs in the State;

(b) for developing methodology for bio-regional planning
and strategies for its implementation as a matter of
urgency. For this purpose, it shall be competent
for the National Authority to identify and declare
bio-regions and protected areas and to adopt the
precautionary principle as a fundamental
consideration underlying bio-regional planning and
to hold consultations with the concerned groups to
evolve the best strategies to protect and maintain
the biodiversity within a bio-region and protected
areas;

(c) providing for the organisation, maintenance and
public accessibility of data collected including the
data collected by the State and Union territory
Biodiversity Boards; and

(d) regulating access to biological diversity on a
national basis, providing inter-alia for prior
informed consent of the “owners” of biological
resources, wherever deemed necessary.

(e) providing direction to the State Biodiversity Boards
constituted under section 12 in respect of the
functions to be undertaken and powers to be
exercised by them.

CHAPTER V

STATE BIODIVERSITY BOARD AND

BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES

12. State Biodiversity Board.-

(1) Each State and Union territory
Administration may constitute a body to be known as
the —-(name of the State) Biodiversity Board to
exercise the powers conferred upon and to perform
the functions assigned to State Biodiversity Boards
under this Act.

(2) The terms of reference, the constitution and
composition of the Board shall be such as may be
prescribed by the State Government by rules framed
in that behalf.

13. Functions of the State Boards.-

(1) The State and Union territory Administration
Biodiversity Boards shall function in accordance
with the guidelines provided by the National
Authority under section 11.

(2) It shall be the duty of the State and Union
territory Administration Biodiversity Boards to
advise the State Government on,-

(a) matters relating to the conservation of
biological diversity, sustainable use of its
components and equitable sharing of the
benefits arising out of the utilisation of
biological resources; and

(b) utilisation of State or Union Territory
Biodiversity Fund as the case may be.

14. Biodiversity Management Committees in Municipalities
and Panchayats.-

(1) The State Governments and Union territory
Administrations shall constitute Biodiversity
Management Committees (BMCs) in every Municipality
and Panchayat within sixty days of coming into force
of this Act, for the purpose of promoting the
conservation, sustainable use and documentation of
biological diversity including preservation of
habitats,conservation of land races, folk varieties
and cultivars, conservation of domesticated stocks
and breeds of animals, and conservation of
micro-organisms as well as chronicling of
biodiversity resources and knowledge/uses relating
thereto.

(2) The Biodiversity Management Committees shall
be consulted by the National Authority and State and
Union territory Administration Biodiversity Boards
before taking decisions relating to use of
biological resources and associated knowledge within
their jurisdiction.

(3) The Biodivedrsity Management Committees
shall perform such other functions as may be
assigned to it by the National authority or the
State Biodiversity Board as the case may be, by
regulations made in that behalf.

CHAPTER VI
GENERAL POWERS OF THE NATIONAL AUTHORITY
IN OTHER MATTERS

15. Protection of knowledge of local people relating to
Biodiversity.-

The National Authority shall –

(a) protect the knowledge and rights of local people
and local communities relating to biodiversity through
measures such as registration of such knowledge in such
manner as may be prescribed, at local, State and national
levels;

(b) protect and promote the cultural rights of local
communities;

(c) take steps to ensure that the local communities
develop their own productive and cultural initiatives for
the use and conservation of biological diversity and
related matters; and

(d) take steps to ensure that the local communities
are compensated for their constant task of conserving
biodiversity and for their work of improving and selecting
cultivated or domestic lineages or races.

(e) take steps to evolve a national programme of
stimuli, incentives, legal support and supervision intended
to promote the development of the knowledge and traditional
practices of the local communities [through projects
formulated and carried out by the local communities].

(2) The National Authority shall take all necessary
steps for defending and protecting the traditional and
collective knowledge of local communities and local people
whether by means of sui generis system of collective
intellectual property rights or in any other manner and to
prevent bio-piracy and theft of knowledge of local
communities.

16. Activities with prior informed consent.-

(1) No person who is not a permanent resident or
a citizen of India, or any body corporate,
association or organisation which is not registered
in India, or which is registered in India but has
foreign citizen participation in equity or
management, shall obtain or be granted or given
access to any biological resource occurring in India
and any associated knowledge for research,
commercial utilization, or undertake
bio-prospecting, biosurvey or bioutilisation without
the prior approval of the National Authority.

(2) No citizen of India, who is a non-resident as
defined in clause (30) of section 2 of the Income
Tax Act, 1961, shall obtain or be granted any
biological resource occurring in India and any
associated knowledge for research, commercial
utilisation or bio-survey and bioutilisation without
prior approval of the National Authority.

3(a) No citizen of India, any body corporate, association
or organisation registered in India shall transfer any
result of research with respect to any biological resource
conducted by him or it, without obtaining the prior
approval of the National Authority to the following:-

(i) any person who is not a citizen of India;

(ii) any person who is a citizen of India but is
ordinarily staying outside India;

(iii) any body corporate, association or
organisation which is not registered in India;

(iv) any body corporate, association or
organisation which is registered in India but has
foreign citizen participation in capital or
management:

Provided that sharing of knowledge through seminars
and publications shall be excluded from the purview of this
sub-section where such publications are in public domain
and papers presented in such seminars or other media are
widely circulated or published in relevant journals:

Provided further that collaborative research
projects involving transfer and exchange of biological
resources, and information relating to them, between
institutions including Government sponsored institutions in
India and similarly placed institutions in other countries,
shall also be excluded from the provisions of
sub-sections(1) and (2), subject to the condition that such
collaborative research projects have been drawn up in
accordance with the overall policy guidelines of the
National Authority and have received the approval of the
Central Government.

(4) The provisions in sub-sections (!), (2) and (3)
shall also apply to third party transfers of accessed
biological resource and associated knowledge.

5(a) Any citizen of India, body corporate, association or
organisation which is registered in India, seeking access
to biological or genetic resources, shall apply to the
National Authority through the State or Union territory
Administration Biodiversity Board, in the prescribed form
containing prescribed particulars. Separate applications
shall be filed for access to resources associated with
traditional knowledge to be dealt with under `Special
Regime of Access’ and for access to resources which do not
involve traditional knowledge to be dealt with under
`General Regime of Access’. On receiving such application,
the concerned Board shall forward its comments with respect
to each of the particulars contained in the application to
the National Authority within a period of 30 days. After
receiving such comments or on the expiry of 30 days if no
such comments are received, the National Authority shall
consider such application . In the light of the provisions
of this Act and the rules made thereunder and after making
such enquiry as may be found appropriate, the Authority
shall either grant the application subject to such
conditions as may be found appropriate or reject it as the
case may be;

Provided that where the application is filed under the
Special Regime of Access, the local community or local people,
who are the owners of such traditional knowledge resources,
shall be heard before granting access under the said regime.

(b) Where the application is filed under the Special
Regime of Access, the contract, in case access is granted,
shall be a tripartite one i.e. between the Authority, the
local community/people supplying the resources and
knowledge and the Receiver. In other cases, the contract
shall be between the Authority and the Receiver, unless
otherwise specified by the Authority.

(c) Any application for bio-prospecting, Bio-survey or
bio-utilisation shall be dealt with in the like manner.

(6) The concerned Board may, before offering its
comments on the applications filed under the preceding
sub-section, make enquiries as deemed fit in consultation
with the concerned local body or institution of
self-government in this regard.

(7) (a) Applications to the National Authority for
seeking approval in accordance with sub-sections (1), (2),
(3) and (5) shall be submitted in the prescribed form
containing such particulars as may be prescribed.

(b) After making such enquiries as it deems fit and
after considering the material placed before it, the
National Authority shall communicate its rejection or
approval, as the case may be, on such terms and conditions
as it may deem fit, including the imposition of charges by
way of royalty in accordance with a scheme to be notified
by the National Authority with the approval of the Central
Government. The National Authority shall be competent to
review, revise or recall any order passed by it, whether on
the application of a person or suo motu, if any new
material is brought to its notice which calls for such
review, revision or recall, as the case may be.

(8) The National Authority shall maintain a register
wherein the operative portion of the orders made under
clause (b) of sub-section (7) shall be entered promptly.
Such register shall be open to public and copies of entries
made therein shall be supplied on payment of charges
specified by notification in that behalf by the National
Authority.

17. Penalties.-

(1) Any person, body corporate, association or
organisation committing or abetting the committing of any
act prohibited by sub-sections(1) to (4) of section 16
shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term
which shall not be less than one year and which may extend
to five years and with fine.

(2) Any person, body corporate, association or
organisation committing or abetting the committing of any
act contrary to sub-section (5) of section 16 shall be
punished with imprisonment of either description for a term
which may extend to three years and with fine.

(3) In the case of an offence committed by a body
corporate, association or organisation, the punishment
shall be imposed upon the principal individual incharge of
such body corporate, association or organisation. If no
individual is specified as such or is not available in
India, any and every person acting as director, trustee or
member of the managing committee or who is associated with
the management of such body corporate, association or
organisation, shall be liable to be punished.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973, the offences under this Act shall
be tried by the Assistant Sessions Judge. The provisions
contained in Chapters XVI and XVII of the said Code shall
be applicable for this purpose. There shall be no ceiling
on the amount of fine to be imposed. The amount of fine
shall depend upon the circumstances of the case including
the nature of the act and the amount of loss or prejudice
caused thereby.

18. Equitable Sharing of Benefits.-

(1) While granting approvals under section 16, the
National Authority shall ensure that the terms and
conditions of approval secure equitable sharing of benefits
arising out of the use of biological resources and
knowledge relating to them.

(2) Such benefits may include transfer of technology,
location of research and development, association of Indian
scientists and local people or local communities with
research and development and biosurvey and bioutilisation,
location of production units, setting up of venture capital
funds, direct monetary compensation and other non-monetary
benefits as may be appropriate for the entity from where it
has been accessed.

(3) Direct monetary benefits shall be deposited in the
National Biodiversity Fund except in cases where biological
resources or knowledge is accessed from specific
individual(s) or group of individuals or local communities
or organisations, in which case the money may be directly
paid to such providers of resources in accordance with the
terms of agreement. The nature of combination of benefits
will be determined in accordance with the merits of each
case.

(4) The National Authority shall publish information
regarding granting of approvals in the manner specified by
it in the guidelines framed in this behalf.

19. Prior Permission Regarding Commercial Application.-

(1) Any person intending to apply for any form of
intellectual property right in or outside India for any
invention based on any research or information on a
biological resource occurring in India shall be required to
obtain prior permission for such application from the
National Authority in the prescribed form.

(2) While granting permission, the National Authority
may impose benefit sharing fee or royalty or such other
conditions as may be found advisable with respect to the
disposal of the financial benefits arising out of the
commercial utilisation of such right.

(3) If any person fails to comply with the requirement
of sub-section (1), he shall be punished with imprisonment
of either description which may extend to five years and
with fine.

20. Biological Diversity Heritage Sites.-

(1) Without prejudice to any other law for the time
being in force, a State Government may from time to time,
in consultation with the concerned Panchayat or
Municipality notify areas of biodiversity importance as
Biological Diversity Heritage Sites in addition to Heritage
sites already declared, if any, by the Government of India
or UNESCO.

(2) The State Government, in consultation with the National
Authority, may frame rules for the selection, management
and conservation of Heritage Sites.

(3) The State Government shall take measures for
appropriately compensating any section of people being
economically affected by such declaration.

21. Power to Notify Threatened Species.-

Without prejudice to the provisions of any other law
for the time being in force, the Central Government or any
State Government may, from time to time, notify threatened
species and prohibit or regulate their collection for any
purpose and take appropriate steps to rehabilitate and
preserve such species.

22. Repositories For Different Categories Of Biological
Resources.-

The Central Government, in consultation with the
National Authority, may designate institutions and other
bodies as repositories under the Act for different
categories of biological resources. Repositories shall
keep in safe custody the biological material in ex-situ
conditions including voucher specimens deposited with them.
Any new taxon discovered shall be notified to the
repositories or any other institution designated for this
purpose and its voucher specimen deposited with them.

CHAPTER VII
NATIONAL STATE AND LOCAL
BIODIVERSITY FUND

23. National Biodiversity Fund.

(1) There shall be established a National
Biological Diversity Fund.

(2) The grants and loans from the Central Government,
fees, royalties or monetary benefits received as a result
of approvals granted by the National Authority and any
donations/grants or loans received from other institutions,
for the purpose of this Act, shall be paid into this Fund.

(3) The Fund shall be administered by the National
Authority.

(4) The Fund shall be utilised for promoting the
objectives of this Act including,-

(a) channelling benefits to the conservers of
biological resources, or creators and holders of
knowledge;

(b) Conservation of biological resources and in
particular, conservation and development of
biological resources in areas from where such
resource, or knowledge has been accessed;

(c) socio-economic development of such areas in
consultation with the concerned Panchayat or
Municipality;

(d) conservation of Heritage Sites notified
under section 20.

(5) The Fund shall be subject to audit by the
Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

(6) The Central Government shall frame rules for the
management and administration of the National Biodiversity
Fund.

24. State Biodiversity Fund.-

(1) There shall be established in each State and
Union territory a Biodiversity Fund.

(2) The funds transferred from the National
Biodiversity Fund and other grants made to the Fund
by the State Government, Union territory
Administration, Central Government, or any other
institution shall be paid into the Fund.

(3) The management, administration and audit of
the Fund shall be such as may be provided by the
rules framed by the concerned State Government or
Union territory Administrations in this behalf.

25. Local Biodiversity Fund.-

(1) The Local Biodiversity Fund shall be
established in every Panchayat and Municipality and
shall be administered and audited in accordance with
the rules framed by the concerned State Government
or as the case may be, Union territory
Administration in this behalf.

(2) The funds transferred from the respective
State or Union territory Biodiversity Funds, and
other grants made to these funds by the State
Government, Central Government, the Union territory
Administration, or any other institution or
organisation shall be paid into this Fund.

(3) The Biodiversity Management Committees may
also generate resources for the Local Biodiversity
Funds.

CHAPTER VIII
FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT

26. Grants by the Central Government.-

(1) The Central Government shall, after due
appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, pay
to the National Authority by way of grants such sums of
money as the Central Government may think fit for being
utilised for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The National Authority may spend such sums as it
thinks fit for performing the functions under this Act, and
such sums shall be treated as expenditure payable out of
the grants referred to in sub-section (1).

27. Grants by the State Government.-

(1) The State Government or where applicable, Union
territory Administration shall, after due appropriation
made by Legislature by law in this behalf, pay to the
State/Union territory Biodiversity Board and Biodiversity
Management Committee by way of grants such sums of money as
the State Governments may think fit for being utilised for
the purposes of this Act. Where there is no Legislature in
a Union territory, sums of money for this purpose shall be
granted by the administrator.

(2) The State Union territory Biodiversity Board and
Biodiversity Management Committee may spend such sums as
they think fit for performing the functions assigned to
them under this Act, and such sums shall be treated as
expenditure payable out of the grants referred to in
sub-section (1).

28. Accounts and Audit.-

(1) The National 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.

(2) The accounts of the National 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 National Authority to the Comptroller and
Auditor-General.

(3) The Comptroller and Auditor-General and any person
appointed by him in connection with the audit of the
accounts of the National 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 Government accounts and shall, in particular, 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 National Authority.

(4) The accounts of the National Authority, as certified
by the Comptroller and Auditor-General or any other person
appointed by him in his behalf, together with the audit
report thereon shall be forwarded annually to the Central
Government by the National Authority and the Central
Government shall cause the audit report to be laid, as soon
as may be after it is received, before each House of
Parliament.

29. Accounts and Audit of Board and Management
Committee.-

(1) State or Union Biodiversity Boards and Biodiversity
Management Committees shall maintain proper accounts and
other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of
accounts in such form as may be prescribed by the State
Government in consultation with the Comptroller and
Auditor-General of India.

(2) The accounts of a State or Union territory
Biodiversity Board and Biodiversity Management Committee
shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of
India at such intervals as may be specified by him and any
expenditure incurred in connection with such audit shall be
payable by a State or Union territory Biodiversity Board
and Biodiversity Management Committee to the Comptroller
and Auditor-General.

(3) The Comptroller and Auditor-General and any person
appointed by him in connection with the audit of the
accounts of a State or Union territory Biodiversity Board
and Biodiversity Management Committee 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 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 a State or Union territory
Biodiversity Board and Biodiversity Management Committee.

(4) The accounts of the State or Union territory
Biodiversity Board and Biodiversity Management Committee,
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 State Government or Union territory Administration
which shall cause the audit report to be laid, as soon as
may be after it is received, before the concerned
Legislature.

CHAPTER IX
SUPERSESSION OF DISSOLUTION OF AUTHORITY

30. Powers of Central Government to give Direction to
Authority.-

The Central Government may give the National
Authority such directions as in its opinion are necessary
or expedient for carrying out the purposes of this Act. It
shall be the duty of the National Authority to comply with
such directions.

31. Supersession of National Authority.-

(1) If the Central Government is of the opinion that the
National Authority is unable to perform, or has
persistently made default in the performance of its duties
or has exceeded or abused its powers, it may, by
notification in the Official Gazette, supersede the
Authority for such period as may be specified in the
notification;

Provided that, before issuing a notification under
this sub-section, the Government shall by notice require
the Authority to show cause within such period as may be
specified in the notice as to why it should not be
superseded and shall consider the explanation and
objections if any, of the Authority.

(2) Upon the publication of a notification under
sub-section (1) superseding in the Authority –

(a) the Chairperson and all the other members of the
Authority shall as from the date of supersession,
vacate their offices;

(b) all the powers and duties which, by or under the
provisions of this Act, may be exercised or
performed by or on behalf of the Authority and the
Chairperson, shall, during the period of
supersession, be exercised and performed by such
authority or person as the Government may direct;

(c) all funds and other property vested in the
Authority shall during the period of supersession,
vest in the authority or person referred to in
clause (b); and

(d) all liabilities legally subsisting and
enforceable against the Authority shall be
enforceable against the authority or person referred
to in clause (b) to the extent of the funds and
properties vested in it or him.

(3) On the expiration of the period of supersession
specified in the notification issued under sub-section (1),
the Central Government may,-

(a) extend the period of supersession for such
further period as it may consider necessary; or

(b) reconstitute the Authority in the manner
provided in section 3:

Provided that the total period of supersession shall
not exceed two years.

32. Dissolution of National Authority.-

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in
the Official Gazette, declare that, with effect from such
date as may be specified in the notification, the National
Authority shall stand dissolved.

Provided that, no such declaration shall be made by
the Central Government unless a resolution to that effect
has been moved in, and passed by, each House of Parliament.

(2) With effect from the date specified in the
notification under sub-section (1) –

(a) all the members shall vacate their office;

(b) all properties, funds and dues which are vested
in or realisable by the Authority shall vest in, and
be realisable, by the Central Government;

(c) all liabilities enforceable against the
Authority shall be enforceable against the Central
Government to the extent of the properties, funds
and dues vested in, or realised by the Central
Government.

CHAPTER X
MISCELLANEOUS

33. Penalties and offences.-

Any person, corporate body, institution or
organisation, knowingly committing or abetting the
commission of any act, prejudicial to the biological
diversity of this country shall be punishable with rigorous
imprisonment which may extend upto five years and with
fine.

34. Effect of other laws.-

(1) The provisions of this Act shall have effect
notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained
in any enactment or in any instrument having effect by
virtue of any other enactment. In the case of any
inconsistency between the provisions of this Act and the
Patents Act, 1970, the provisions of this Act shall prevail
and any such inconsistent provision in the Patents Act
shall be void and of no effect. The provisions of the
enactments relating to forests, environment and ecology,
whether enacted by Parliament or any State Legislature
shall be read harmoniously with, and construed as
supportive of, and to promote, the objectives of this Act.

(2) The rules made, notifications issued, schemes
prepared or orders made, whether by a State Government,
Union territory Administration or the Central Government
under any of the laws relating to forests, environment or
ecology concerning any matter provided for by this Act
shall continue in operation, notwithstanding the fact that
they are made, issued or prepared by an authority other
than the authority prescribed under this Act provided they
are not repugnant to the provisions of this Act.

35. Power of Central Government to give directions to
the State Government.-

The Central Government will have the power to give
directions to the State Governments for carrying into
effect the provisions of this Act.

36. Power to Grant Exemptions.-

(1) The Central Government, in consultation with the
National Authority, may by notification published in the
Official Gazette, exempt any biological resources or areas
from the purview of this Act.

(2) Every such notification shall be laid on the Table of each House of Parliament for a period of not less
than four weeks.

37. Exemption from Income-tax.-

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Income-tax
Act, 1961 or any other enactment for the time being in
force relating to tax on income, profits or gains, the
National Authority, the State/Union territory Biodiversity
Boards and the Local Biodiversity Boards shall not be
liable to pay income-tax or any other tax in respect of
their profits, income or gains.

38. Protection of action taken in good faith.-

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall
lie against any officer or other employee of the Central
Government, the State Government or Union territory
Administration for anything done in good faith in pursuance
of this Act or the Rules made thereunder.

39. Cognizance of offence.-

(1) No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act except on a complaint made by the Central
Government or any authority or officer authorised in this behalf by that Government.

(2) No private complaint alleging an offence under
the Act shall be instituted until the expiration of ten
days next after a notice in writing has been delivered to
or left at the residence or office of the alleged offender.

40. Members, officers and employees of the Authority to be public servants.-

All the members of the National Authority
constituted under this Act and all officers and employees
of that Authority, when acting or purporting to Act in
pursuance of any provisions of this Act or the rules made
thereunder shall be deemed to be public servants within the
meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.

41. Power to delegate.-

The Central Government may, by notification, in the
Official Gazette, delegate, subject to such conditions and
limitations as may be specified in the notification, such
of its powers and functions under this Act as it may deem
necessary or expedient, to the National Authority, the
State/Union territory Biodiversity Board, the Local
Biodiversity Board or their officers and employees.

42. Vacancy or defect not to affect the validity of action taken.-

No act or proceeding of the National Authority, the
State/Union territory Biodiversity Board, the Biodiversity
Management Committee or the Local Biodiversity Board shall
be questioned or shall be invalidated merely on the ground
of existence of any vacancy or defect in its constitution
or on the ground of absence or non-participation of any
member or members, during the deliberations,
decision-making or while taking any other action under this
Act.

43. Power of Entry, Inspection and Seizure.-

(1) Any person authorised in that behalf by the
National Authority, the State/Union territory Biodiversity
Board or the Local Biodiversity Board, may enter and search
any premises and any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or other
conveyance for the purpose of securing compliance with the
provisions of this Act or in case he has reason to suspect
that any activity prejudicial to biodiversity or
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act is being
carried on, such authorised person shall be competent to
seize any material, plant, animal or any other article
including the receptacle, vessel or vehicle in which it is
stored or being transported, if he suspects that possession
or use of such material, plant, animal or other article is
prejudicial to the biodiversity of India or is contrary to
the provisions of this Act.

(2) The National Authority or any State/Union
territory Biodiversity Board or Local Biodiversity Board
shall be competent to call for any information, document or
other material relevant to the purposes of this Act, from
any person, authority or organisation if it considers such
information, document or other material relevant to the
purposes of this Act. Any requisition for help or
assistance made by such Authority or the Board shall be
promptly provided by any public authority, officer or individual.

44. Power of Central Government to make rules.-

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in
the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the
provisions of this Act.

(2) Every rule made under this Act shall be laid, as
soon as may be after it is made, before each House of
Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of
thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two
or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of
the session immediately following the session or the
successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making
any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the
rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have
effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as
the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or
annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of
anything previously done under that rule.

45. Power of State Government to make rules.-

(1) A State Government or a Union territory
Administration may in respect of matters within its
purview, by notification in the Official Gazette, make
rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.

(2) Every rule made by the State Government under
this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is
made, before each House of the State Legislature where it
consists of two Houses, or where such Legislature consists
of one House, before that House, or as the case may be,
before Legislative Assembly of the Union territory where applicable.

46. Power to exempt.-

If the Central Government is satisifed that it is
necessary in the national interest, or to give effect to
any reciprocal agreement entered into with another
Government, to do so, it may, by notification published in
the Official Gazette, exempt generally, or subject to such
conditions as may be specified in the notification, any
person or authority from the operation of any of the
provisions of this Act.

47. Power to remove difficulties.-

(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the
provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by
order published in the Official Gazette, make such
provision not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act
as appear to it to be necessary or expedient for removing
the difficulty:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of the period of two years from the date of
commencement of this Act.

(2) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House
of Parliament.


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