Dehradun: The judges of lower courts in Uttarakhand have continued to pass orders which blatantly violate the directives of the Supreme Court of India regarding the release of animals confiscated from persons suspected of taking them for illegal slaughter.
The People for Animals, Uttarakhand has submitted a letter to the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court with copies to the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the District judges of Uttarakhand eliciting their attention to this glaring anomaly. In State of UP vs Mustakeem and others case, the order issued by Supreme Court judges Justices GB Pattanaik and Brijesh Kumar in February 2002 expressed shock at the fact that a High Court judge had passed an order in favour of the accused and ordered the return of confiscated animals to the very person accused of taking them for illegal slaughter. “We therefore set aside the impugned order and direct that these animals be kept in the Gaushala and the State Government should undertake to take the entire responsibility of the preservation of these animals as long as the matter is under trial.” In the letter sent to the Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice, PFA Uttarakhand member secretary Gauri Maulekhi has pointed out that this order has been brought to the notice of the subordinate courts under the control of the Uttarakhand High Court repeatedly but in many cases the lower court judges have continued to pass orders which enable the accused to obtain custody of the confiscated animals in the first few hearings of the case much before the trial has ended. Under Section 35 (4) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the District Magistrate has the power to decide the minimum amount payable for maintenance of case property animals. However, this aspect of the PCA Act is being overruled in many cases by judges of lower courts with hefty concessions being given to the accused so that he ends paying a sum substantially less than the amount charged as per the Act. By passing such orders, the judges are not only challenging the order of the Supreme Court but also compromising the safety of animals saved from illegal slaughter. The fact that provisions of the PCA Act are being bypassed also raises questions on the integrity and caliber of the lower court judges, said Maulekhi.
The letter contains 20 examples in which the Supreme Court order and PCA Act have been ignored like the case State of Uttarakhand Vs Imran in which the Additional Judicial Magistrate Abdul Kayyum passed an order for releasing 14 cows in favour of the accused and ordered him to pay Rs8,000 in stead of Rs 1,63,212 for 58 days of maintenancethe bovines.
News Source: Bureau 19-Jul-2011