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          LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA       
 
          ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FIRST REPORT
 
          ON
 
          BIODIVERSITY BILL
 
          JANUARY 2000

 

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.