Rashid Paul

HC imposes monetary penalty on Commissioner-Secretary Animal Husbandry for non-compliance of court orders

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Srinagar: With a view to change the mindset of the bureaucracy on non-compliance of judicial orders, the High Court on Wednesday imposed a monetary penalty on the Commissioner-Secretary of the Animal Husbandry Department.

The officer has been burdened with a personal cost of ₹ 5,000 to be deposited with the Registry of J&K High Court within four weeks from the date of receipt of copy of the order.

The sentence was pronounced by a two judge bench comprising Chief Justice (acting) Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar in a public interest litigation filed by Save Animal Value Environment, a voluntary organization.

The petitioner organization said that thousands of animals were being slaughtered in Jammu and Kashmir every day without any quality control.

It prayed for construction of a modern slaughter house with a proper disposal of the wastes generated, besides an official monitoring of the health and quality of the animals being slaughtered.

Hearing the petition, the court found that there was no application filed by the Commissioner-Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department seeking exemption from his personal appearance.

“This only shows arrogance on the part of the officer concerned,” the court said.

The court found that neither the officer has filed any affidavit with the status report under signatures after being called to appear in person nor had he submitted any exemption application for personal appearance.

“When he was directed to appear in person, either he should have appeared or filed his affidavit mentioning details along with prayer for exemption from appearance, if sought. The mindset of non-compliance of the orders passed by the court need to be changed,” observed the court.

S.S. Nanda, Additional Advocate General informed the court that a status report has been filed mentioning that Animal Husbandry Department has nothing to do in the case in hand regarding construction of the slaughter house.

Ashish Gupta, Joint Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation, Jammu was present in person in the court.

He stated that approval for allotment of tender for construction of the slaughter house in Jammu has been received from the competent authority.

The work shall be allotted to the successful bidder within two weeks. As per the conditions in the DPR the project is to be completed within 12 months, he said.

In so far as the construction of the slaughter house at Srinagar is concerned, the court was informed that construction of is in progress and is likely to be completed within next 7 to 8 months.

“Let the present status of the construction of the slaughter house at Srinagar be apprised to the court on the next date of hearing and the time required for completion thereof,” directed the court.

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