DB imposes costs of Rs 5,000 on Comm Secy Animal Husbandry Deptt for non-appearance

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PIL seeking modern slaughter houses in J&K

STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: In a much publicised Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO ‘SAVE’ (Save Animal Value Environment) through its Chairperson Devinder Kaur Madaan alias Rumpy Madaan seeking closure of un-regulated and un-registered/ un-licensed slaughter houses/ meat shops in UT of J&K including Jammu/Srinagar Cities, a Division Bench of State High Court comprising Chief Justice (A) Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar on Tuesday took a serious note and imposed costs of Rs 5,000 on Commissioner/ Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department for his non-appearance. The Division Bench, while imposing costs on Commissioner/ Secretary Animal Husbandry Department, observed that on November 19, 2020, the Court had directed the Commissioner/Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to appear in person in Court through VC.
S S Nanda, Sr AAG submitted that a status report has been filed mentioning that Animal Husbandry Department has nothing to do regarding construction of slaughter house. Exemption from personal appearance has also been sought. DB observed that there is no status report on record in soft copy of the paper book. No application seeking exemption from personal appearance has been filed.
DB further observed that though aforesaid status report is not on record in the soft copy of paper book, however, the same was produced in the Court separately from the Registry of the Court. It has been filed by the Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Jammu on December 14, 2020. There is no separate application filed by the Commissioner/Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Department seeking exemption from personal appearance which only shows arrogance on part of the officer concerned. Neither he has filed any affidavit with status report under signatures, when he had been called to appear in person nor any exemption application for personal appearance has been filed by him. When he was directed to appear in person, either he should have appeared or file his own affidavit mentioning details along with prayer for exemption from appearance, if sought.
DB observed that mind set of non-compliance of orders passed by the Court need to be changed. For his non-appearance, the Commissioner/Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department, Jammu is burdened with personal cost of Rs 5,000 and the same shall be deposited with the Registry of this court within four weeks from date of receipt of copy of the order. DB further observed that Ashish Gupta, Joint Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation, Jammu is present in person in Court through VC, as the Commissioner is stated to be on leave today. It is stated that approval for allotment of tender for construction of the slaughter house has been received from competent authority. The work shall be allotted to the successful bidder within two weeks. As per conditions in the DPR, the project is to be completed within 12 months.
DB further observed that in so far as the construction of the slaughter house at Srinagar is concerned, on February 26, 2020, statement was made before the Court that the construction is in progress and is likely to be completed within next 7-8 months.
Sr AAG Nanda submitted that the work was in progress, however, because of COVID-19, same was delayed and said that present status of the construction of slaughter house at Srinagar be apprised to the Court on the next date of hearing and time required for completion thereof.

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