An Act to provide for the establishment of a Coastal Aquaculture Authority for regulating the activities connected with coastal aquaculture in the coastal areas and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--
Section 1. Short title and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005.
(2) Provisions of section 27 shall come into force at once and the remaining provisions of this Act shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
Section 2. Definitions
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--
(a) "Authority" means the Coastal Aquaculture Authority established under sub-section (1) of section 4;
(b) "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Authority;
(c) "coastal aquaculture" means culturing, under controlled conditions in ponds, pens, enclosures or otherwise, in coastal areas, of shrimp, prawn, fish or any other aquatic life in saline or brackish water; but does not include fresh water aquaculture;
(d) "coastal area" means the area declared as the Coastal Regulation Zone, for the time being, in the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Department of Environment, Forests and Wildlife) No. S.O.114(E), dated the 19th February, 1991 and includes such other area as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify;
(e) "member" means the member of the Authority appointed under sub-section (3) of section 4 and includes the Chairperson and the member-secretary;
(f) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(g) "regulations" means the regulations made by the Authority under this Act.
(2) Words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act.
Section 3. Powers of Central Government to take measures to protect environment
The Central Government shall take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for regulation of coastal aquaculture by prescribing guidelines, to ensure that coastal aquaculture does not cause any detriment to the coastal environment and the concept of responsible coastal aquaculture contained in such guidelines shall be followed in regulating the coastal aquaculture activities to protect the livelihood of various sections of the people living in the coastal areas.
Section 4. Establishment of Authority and appointment of Chairperson and members
(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 purposes of this Act an Authority to be called the Coastal Aquaculture Authority.
(2) The head office of the Authority shall be at such place as the Central Government may decide.
(3) The Authority shall consist of the following members who shall be appointed by the Central Government, namely:--
(a) the Chairperson who is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court;
(b) one member who is an expert in the field of coastal aquaculture;
(c) one member who is an expert in the field of coastal ecology nominated by the Department of Ocean Development of the Central Government;
(d) one member who is an expert in the field of environment protection or pollution control nominated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the Central Government;
(e) one member to represent the Ministry of Agriculture of the Central Government;
(f) one member to represent the Ministry of Commerce of the Central Government;
(g) four members to represent the coastal States on rotation basis;
(h) one member-secretary.
(4) The term of office of the Chairperson and every other member shall be three years.
(5) The salaries and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the members shall be such as may be prescribed.
Section 5. Disqualifications for appointment as member
A person shall be disqualified for being appointed as a member if he--
(a) has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or
(b) is an undischarged insolvent; or
(c) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court; or
(d) has been removed or dismissed from the service of the Government or a Corporation owned or controlled by the Government; or
(e) has, in the opinion of the Central Government, such financial or other interest in the Authority as is likely to affect prejudicially the discharge by him of his functions as a member.
Section 6. Eligibility of member for reappointment
Subject to sub-section (5) of section 4, any person ceasing to be a member shall be eligible for reappointment as such member for not more than two consecutive terms.
Section 7. Meetings of Authority
(1) The Authority shall meet at such times and places and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum thereat) as may be specified by regulations.
(2) If for any reason the Chairperson is unable to attend any meeting of the Authority any other member chosen by the members present at the meeting shall preside at the meeting.
(3) All questions which come up before any meeting of the Authority shall be decided by a majority of votes of the members present and voting and in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairperson or in his absence the person presiding, shall have and exercise a second or casting vote.
Section 8. Vacancy in Authority not to invalidate proceeding
No act or proceeding of the Authority shall be invalidated merely by reason of--
(a) any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the Authority; or
(b) any defect in the appointment of a person acting as a member of the Authority; or
(c) any irregularity in the procedure adopted by the Authority not affecting the merits of the case.
Section 9. Appointment of officers, consultants and other employees of Authority
(1) For the purposes of discharging its functions, the Authority shall appoint such number of officers and other employees as it may consider necessary on such terms and conditions as may be specified by the regulations.
(2) The Authority may appoint, from time to time, any person as adviser or consultant as it may consider necessary on such terms and conditions as may be specified by the regulations.
Section 10. Authentication of orders and other instruments of Authority
All orders, decisions and other instruments of the Authority shall be authenticated under the signature of the Chairperson or any other member or any officer of the Authority authorised by the Chairperson in this behalf.