NAINITAL: The district magistrate (DM) of Haridwar Deepak Rawat appeared before the Uttarakhand high court on Wednesday and informed the bench that the district administration has closed down all illegal slaughterhouses and illegal meat shops in the holy town. Several complaints against illegal meat shops proliferating in the Jwalapur locality had surfaced last year as well.
The matter was heard by the single bench of justice Sharad Kumar Sharma, according to Kartikey Hari Gupta, counsel for the petitioner.
On January 3, the court while hearing a civil contempt petition filed by Parvez Alam, a resident of Haridwar district, against Haridwar DM had directed the officer to be present in court on January 9 and explain why the orders of the court to close down illegal slaughterhouses in the district were not complied with.
Earlier, in September 2018, the court had ordered all illegal slaughterhouses in the state to be “sealed within 72 hours.” The HC had also directed to ensure that no animal is slaughtered on the streets or in the open. The directions came after Alam had filed public interest litigation (PIL) and placed pictures of animals being slaughtered in the open before the court.
Observing that the pictures were disturbing, the bench had then remarked, “How can the authorities permit the slaughtering of animals in the streets, in villages and towns, is beyond our comprehension. Animals also have constitutional legal rights. The authorities cannot remain mute spectators towards the slaughtering of animals, that too, in a very beastly manner.”
The court had also observed, “It is the duty cast upon all the executive officers of the local self-government, municipal corporations, municipalities, Nagar panchayats, and other panchayats to ensure that no animal is slaughtered in the public streets/paths/roads and in spaces open to public gaze.”
The HC had further directed the state government to ensure that no slaughterhouse is permitted to run without complying with the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011.