28 Jun 2023 8:00 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to pass urgent orders on a plea seeking strict implementation of an advisory issued by the Delhi Government to deal with illegal slaughtering of cows and other animals on the occasion of Bakra-Eid on June 29. “We are now in the last week of vacation in June. We are not going to entertain this. It is our discretion to decide if it is urgent or not,”...
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to pass urgent orders on a plea seeking strict implementation of an advisory issued by the Delhi Government to deal with illegal slaughtering of cows and other animals on the occasion of Bakra-Eid on June 29.
“We are now in the last week of vacation in June. We are not going to entertain this. It is our discretion to decide if it is urgent or not,” a vacation bench of Justice C Hari Shankar and Justice Manoj Jain said.
The urgent application was filed by petitioner Ajay Gautam in his pending plea against cow slaughtering.
Gautam, in his application, sought strict implementation of the advisory issued by Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Development) of Delhi Government which stated that “it is feared that a lot many illegal animal markets and illegal slaughtering may come up in different parts of the national capital on the eve of Bakra-eid.”
The advisory referred to Rule 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001 which states that no person shall slaughter any animal within a municipal area except in a slaughter house recognized or licensed by the concerned authority.
It also referred to Rule 2.5.1(a) of Food safety and standards (Food products standards and food additives) Regulations, 2011 which provides that the camels they cannot be slaughtered for food purpose. It also said that the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994 strictly prohibits slaughtering of cows in Delhi.
Accordingly, the advisory requested the authorities to take suitable precautionary measures for enforcing laws relating to welfare of animals to stop illegal killing of animals during Bakra-eid festival and to take stringent action against the offenders.
Gautam also sought direction on the authorities to take strict action against Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s Deputy Mayor, Aale Mohd. Iqbal, over his alleged statement on social media during an interview on June 24. As per the application, Iqbal said that no action be taken in case of sacrifice of cows or animals in houses.
During the hearing, Gautam highlighted the urgency of moving the application before the vacation bench and claimed that around 5 lakhs cows may be sacrificed during the festival and that the Deputy Mayor of MCD said that the advisory in question will not be obeyed.
However, the court said that it is not a matter which cannot wait for two more days for the court to reopen for a regular hearing before the roster bench.
“In these circumstances, in our opinion, it would be appropriate if the matter is heard by the roster bench on July 03 instead of last week of vacation,” the court said.
As Gautam said that he was granted liberty by the regular bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma to approach the vacation bench in view of any urgency, Justice Shankar orally said:
“Oral observations have no meaning. Is it reflected in the order? It is not. We are not entertaining this in the vacations. It is not that we did not understand your request. The matter is pending before the division bench. Let it go to the regular bench. We are listing it on the first working day. We cannot do better than that.”
As Gautam still insisted that the matter be heard in detail and referred to a Mantra of Yajurveda, Justice Shankar said: “Don’t overstay your welcome. You are not a newcomer. We are seeing you for the last five years. You know the decorum and discipline of the court. You tried your best to convince us.”
Title: Ajay Gautam v. Union of India & Ors.