Animal cruelty case (PIL) Maneka Gandhi
Animal cruelty case (PIL) Maneka Gandhi
Animal cruelty case (PIL) Maneka Gandhi
Maneka Gandhi vs Union Territory of Delhi And OR’s. (PIL)
Citations - ILR 1995 Delhi 49
Bench: G Mittal, D Bhandari
The petitioner has filed this public interest litigation in a matter, which very vitally concerns all of us i.e. regarding the inhuman, unhygienic and horrible conditions which are prevalent at the Idgah Slaughter House of Delhi. It is averred in the writ petition that effluents of "highly polluting nature ate being discharged in drains, open sewers and public places by slaughtering of tens of thousands animals in contravention of all laws, rules, regulations and norms.
This petition was initially filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India in the Supreme Court of India and Supreme Court has directed that the petition be heard and decided by this court, hence the petition is being disposed of by us.
In the writ petition, it is stated that the pollution generated by the slaughtering of animals on such a large scale has created havoc in the lives of people living in Delhi, Haryana and U.P. It is averred in the petition that about 13,000 liters of blood is discharged in the Yamuna River daily from the Idgah Slaughter House alone and almost a similar quantity from other illegal slaughtering places. As a result, the residents of Delhi and adjoining States are compelled to drink such polluted and contaminated water of river Yamuna.
If is also averred in the petition that enormous amount of blood and dung heaps, choke the drains, sewer, and bye-laves. Entrails, joints, skin and hair dripping in blood are carried by vultures and crows and often dropped onto residences, schools, temples and public places in the neighborhood of the slaughtering places. Bones are boiled in open places causing further pollution and emitting nauseating stench. Stinking hides and skins of animals piled one on top of the other in large heaps, lie for days together. Carcasses loaded onto open trucks, Lorries, arid carts, exposed in most unhygienic conditions are transported to all parts of Delhi throughout, the day.
It is further averred in the writ petition that because of such horrifying conditions at the Idgah Slaughter House, the risk of communicable diseases is extremely high. A large meat eating population is also being put to a great risk of life and health as the people are not aware of the appealing conditions under which animals are slaughtered, transported and sold. They do not know that the meat offered to them for consumption comes from a healthy or a sick and diseased animal. Contaminated and diseased meat is responsible for many meat borne diseases and food-poisoning. Filthy interiors littered with an amalgam of urine, dung, blood and viscera, flies, maggots and roaches present a macabre sight and causes pollution in the water and air leading to serious health hazard. Effluents discharged in open drains and sewers go to Okhla and at times without partial treatment joins the river Yamuna.
The petitioner has further submitted that the slaughtering of animals is done in a most inhuman and barbaric manner. The animal is slowly bled to death. The neck is slit at two places, one length wise to locate the juggula and the exact spot of slitting, and the second breadth-wise to do the actual slitting. All this is done while the animal is alive, conscious of the pain, conscious of its own blood flowing out, bellowing and bleating in excruciating pain, till it slowly bleeps to death. Many animals have their legs backed off or broken during the process of slaughtering to prevent them from running away end to facilitate the process of slaughtering. Many of these animals are skinned while they are still alive. Even buffaloes below six months, heifers, pregnant animals, sheep and goat under six weeks, sick animals and young milk-giving animals are slaughtered. Every single inept or provision of law and the order made there under are flagrantly violated.
Even according to the figures that have been made available by the M. C. D., on an average 10,000 animals including buffaloes are slaughtered every single day. These animals are brought from the adjoining states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh stacks ed in trucks and by the time they arrive at the abattoir most of the animals are half dead.
It has been further submitted that the Idgah Slaughter House has only 15 veterinarians to give certificates to 10,000 to 12,000 animals per day. Another problem is that if at any time a sick animal is pointed and the butchers are asked not to kill such animal for human consumption, the veterinarians face threat from the butchers. It is also submitted that it is physically impossible for 15 doctors to properly examine 10,000 to 12,000 animals every day. Consequently, animals are slaughtered virtually without any medical examination.
The petitioner pointed out that the Rules were framed regarding the Slaughter House licensing of premises for sale of meat under Punjab Municipal Act vide notification dated 24th January, 1946. These rules are applicable to the Delhi Municipal Corporation. Rule 2 says that as the MCD maintains public slaughter houses, Zabina, Jhatka and for slaughter of pigs, no private slaughter house shall be allowed to be established or maintained. Rule 5 clearly states that no person shall slaughter or cause or permit to be slaughtered at any place other than a public slaughter house, any animal the flesh of which may be used as human food. Similarly large number of provisions of various Acts have been pointed out to demonstrate that there is clear violation of all these rules and regulations in the functioning of the Idgah Slaughter House.
In the petition, it is mentioned that the Air (Prevention & Control) Pollution Act was passed in 1981. The stench emitted by slaughtering in this manner is also causing serious air pollution and consequently violating its provisions. The Pollution Boards and such other bodies have failed to take action against the offenders. These bodies are virtually defunct bodies.
Similarly, Govt. of India, Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation vide notification dated 31st August, 1978 substituted Rule 81B in the Aircraft Rules, 1937. The Rule prohibits slaughtering, flaying of animals, depositing of rubbish and other polluted nor obnoxious matter within a radius of 10 Kms from the aerodromes. Most of the places where illegal slaughtering takes place are within a radius of 10 Kms and are posing serious danger to the air passengers. There is a likelihood of aircraft accidents because of the vultures, crows and birds flying over, near and around the aerodromes.
The petitioner averred that the Delhi Police is not performing its duty in taking action against people indulging in cruelty to animals. The Delhi Police Act gives wide powers to the police to take action against the offenders. Despite knowing the fact that there is continued gross violation of the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 the Delhi Police has been negligent in taking action against the offenders. Chapter 9 of the Delhi Police Act, 1978 gives special powers to the police to take action against persons responsible for the cruelty to animals.
The petitioner has also made reference to report submitted in January, 1983 by the then Development Commissioner Delhi in which it is mentioned that it is impossible to carry out slaughtering under prevalent conditions while fulfilling even a minimum of hygienic requirements. The carcasses are out into large pieces on the ground which is full of dirt, blood; manner paunch-contents etc. and large parts of the by-products edible as well as inedible are not utilized in any form and thus create additional sanitary problems and environmental pollution.
In the petition, it is also mentioned that the Ministry of Environment, and Forests had directed the Delhi Municipal Committee to set up, an effluent treatment plant before 31st December, 1990 but till this day, effluent treatment plant has not been set up despite large protests, representations, and memorandums by conscious citizens and, voluntary organizations.
The effluent having BOD as high as 12750 Mg. per liters Chemical oxygen demand is as high as 28819 Mg. per liters (permissible limit has not been specified) and oil and grease as high as 187 Mg. per liter as against the permissible, limit of 10 Mg. per liter is generated from the said slaughter house and can cause an aerobic conditions.