STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising First Pusine Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sindhu Sharma on Saturday directed Senior Additional Advocate General (Sr AAG) S.S Nanda appearing for Housing and Urban Development Department to inform the court about the proposal to create facilities of Modern Slaughter Houses in districts other than Jammu and Srinagar. The court direction came in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Save Animal Value Environment (SAVE) through its Chairperson Devinder Kaur Madaan alias Rumpy Madaan seeking closure of un-regulated and un-registered/un-licensed slaughter houses/meat shops in Jammu and Kashmir including that of Jammu and Srinagar Cities.
The Division Bench also directed Senior AAG that he shall also apprise the Court about proper Constitution of the Slaughter House Monitoring Committee in terms of the order passed by the Supreme Court of India in its celebrated Judgment in case titled ‘Laxmi Narayan Modi versus Union of India and others’.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Supriya Chouhan and Mohd Zulkarnain Chowdhary appearing for the petitioner submitted that the whole focus in the PIL so far has been on two modern slaughter houses at Jammu City and one big slaughter house at Srinagar, however the Government of J&K is totally silent with regard to the creation of modern slaughter houses in other Districts of the UT. Advocate Ahmed submitted that an affidavit was filed by State Pollution Control Board through Senior AAG H.A. Siddiqui wherein it was stated that more than 10 illegal slaughter houses were sealed in Jammu Province. He further submitted that illegal slaughtering is going in all the Districts of the U.T. and the authorities are insensitive towards the health of the people.
Senior AAG S.S. Nanda appearing for SMC submitted that the DPR for construction of a modern slaughter house at Srinagar was got approved from the Ministry of Food Processing, Govt. of India and the project is under construction and is likely to be completed in next 7-8 months.
Advocate Sachin Gupta appearing for JMC pointed out that the project for the two modern slaughter houses at Jammu have also been approved from the Ministry of Food Processing, Govt. of India. He further submitted that tenders have been opened and the matter is now pending with the high power committee of the Government of J&K for approval.
Advocate Sachin Gupta assured the Division Bench that the matter will be pursued with the Government for finalization of the process as early as possible preferably, within 2-3 weeks, so that the process of construction of modern slaughter houses starts at Jammu as well.
At this stage, Advocate S.S. Ahmed along with Devinder Kaur Madaan submitted that the DPR issued and construction being raised for the modern slaughter house at Srinagar is in violation of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in Laxmi Narayan Modi’s case. It was pointed out that fully mechanized slaughter houses cause cruelty to the animals and there should be no conveyer belts in the modern slaughter house at Srinagar.
Division Bench headed by First Puisne Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal, however observed, “Prima facie, we do not subscribe to the view considering the fact in case the DPR has been approved by the Ministry of Food Processing after the Supreme Court has laid down the guidelines. These must have been kept in view”.
Division Bench further directed that let the construction be completed and all the facilities be put in place. In case at that stage it is found that any of the processes being followed in the slaughter house is in violation of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, corrective steps shall be taken in addition to fixing the responsibility of the persons who dared to violate the Supreme Court guidelines, the court held.
Dr. Zaffar Iqbal Municipal Veterinary Officer, JMC and Dr. Javid Ahmed Rather, Municipal Veterinary Officer, SMC were also present in person.
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