HC fines Secretary Animal Husbandry for non-appearance

Representational Photo

Underscoring that the mindset of non-compliance of its orders need to be changed, J&K High Court has imposed personal costs of Rs 5000 on Commissioner Secretary Animal Husbandry Department for not appearing in person before it through video conference.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking directions for setting up modern and hygienic slaughter House in J&K, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar observed that there was no separate application filed by the officer seeking exemption from his personal appearance.

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

Miffed over the absence of the officer, the court said he had neither filed any affidavit with the status report under signatures nor any exemption application for personal appearance.

When the officer, the court said, was directed to appear in person, he should have appeared or filed his own affidavit mentioning details along with prayer for exemption from appearance.

“The mind set of non-compliance of the orders passed by the Court need to be changed,” it said.

For his non-appearance, while imposing a personal cost of ?5,000 on the officer, the Court asked him to deposit the same with its Registry within four weeks.

Senior additional advocate General S S Nanda however submitted before the court that a status report was filed mentioning that Animal Husbandry Department had nothing to do with regard to construction of slaughterhouse. Exemption from personal appearance, he said, had also been sought.

Pointing out that the status report was not on record in the soft copy of the paper book, the Court, however, said the same was produced separately from its Registry.“It has been filed by the Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Jammu on 14.12.2020,” the bench said.

With regard to the construction of the slaughter house in Jammu, the Court was however informed by JMC that the work shall be allotted to the successful bidder within two weeks.

The Court was told that as per the conditions in the DPR the project is to be completed within 12 months.

As far as the construction of the slaughter house at Srinagar is concerned, the court said that on 26.02.2020 a statement was made before it that the construction was in progress and was likely to be completed within 7-8 months.

The court sought to know about the present status of the construction of the slaughter house at Srinagar by February 25, 2021.

Notably, Save Animal Value Environment in 2018 has filed the Public Interest Litigation at Jammu wing of High Court through Advocate SS Ahmed seeking setting up of modern hygienic slaughter houses in J&K.