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Parvez Alam v/s State of Uttarakhand & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- ALAM & CO LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U60210WB1946PLC014227

    Writ Petition (PIL) No. 152 of 2018

    Decided On, 20 September 2018

    At, High Court of Uttarakhand

    By, THE HONOURABLE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE MR. RAJIV SHARMA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MANOJ KUMAR TIWARI

    For the Petitioner: Kartikey Hari Gupta, Advocate. For the Respondents: B.S. Parihar, Chief Standing Counsel, R6, Aditya Pratap Singh, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Rajiv Sharma, ACJ.

1. A question of grave public importance has been raised by the petitioner in this petition.

2. According to the averments made in the writ petition, illegal slaughtering of animals on open roads and outside the authorized/permitted slaughter houses in the State is prevalent.

3. The petitioner has made a reference to the following enactments: -

A. Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1916,

B. Rule 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001,

C. Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016,

D. Section 106 of Uttarakhand Panchayat Raj Act, 2016

E. Uttar Pradesh (as adopted in Uttarakhand) Municipal Corporation Act, 1959.

4. Petitioner has also placed on record pictures of the animals being slaughtered brutally. These pictures are disturbing and have pricked the conscience of the Court. How, the authorities can permit the slaughtering of animals in the streets, in villages and towns, is beyond our comprehension. Animals also do have constitutional/legal rights. The authorities cannot remain as ‘mute-spectators’ towards the slaughtering of animals, that too, in a very beastly manner.

5. The Central Government has framed the Rules called 'The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001' (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

6. Rule 2 (b) of the Rules defines 'Slaughter' to mean the killing or destruction of any animal for the purpose of food and includes all the processes and operations performed on all such animals in order to prepare it for being slaughtered.

7. 'Slaughter house' is defined under Rule 2(c) of the Rules.

8. Rule 3 of the Rules enunciates that no person shall slaughter any animal within a municipal area except in a slaughter house recognized or licensed by the concerned authority empowered under the law for the time being in force to do so. It is also stated therein that no animal shall be slaughtered (i) which is pregnant, or (ii) has an offspring less than three months old, or (iii) is under the age of three months, or (iv) has not been certified by a veterinary doctor that it is in a fit condition to be slaughtered.

9. Rule 4 defines reception area or resting grounds.

10. Rule 5 lays down that every animal after it has been subjected to veterinary inspection shall be passed on to a lairage for resting for 24 hours before slaughter.

11. Rule 6 lays down that: -

a. No animal shall be slaughtered in a slaughter house in sight of other animals.

b. No animal shall be administered any chemical, drug or hormone before slaughter except drug for its treatment for any specific disease or ailment.

c. The slaughter halls in a slaughter house shall provide separate sections of adequate dimensions sufficient for slaughter of individual animals to ensure that the animal to be slaughtered is not within the sight of other animals.

d. Every slaughter house as soon as possible shall provide a separate space for stunning of animals prior to slaughter, bleeding and dressing of the carcasses.

e. The blood drain and collection in a slaughter house is required to be immediate and proper.

f. Dressing of carcasses in a slaughter house shall not be done on floor and adequate means and tools for dehiding or belting of the animals shall be provided in a slaughter house with means for immediate disposal of hides or skins.

12. Rule 7 lays down the parameters for construction of slaughter house building.

13. Rule 8 lays down that: -

a. No owner or occupier of a slaughter house shall engage a person for slaughtering animals unless he possesses a valid license or authorization issued by the municipal or other local authority.

b. No person below the age of 18 can be employed in any manner in slaughter houses.

14. Rule 9 deals with inspection of slaughter house.

15. Learned counsel, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, has strenuously argued that these Rules are not being complied with in letter and spirit leading to slaughtering of animals in streets and open places in a very barbaric manner.

16. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondent no.6 has placed on record the consent to establish Slaughter House at Mangalore (Haridwar) vide letter dated 22.01.2018. However, he has also hastened to add that this plant has not become operational as yet.

17. Mr. Dharmendra Barthwal, Advocate, during the course of hearing, has also drawn the attention of this Court to the ‘Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011’, more particularly, Part- IV of the Regulations. In order to run a slaughter house, ‘No Objection Certificate’ is required to be obtained from the local authority before grant of license. The establishment/slaughter house should be linked to a meat market, located away from vegetable, fish or other food markets and is also to be free from undesirable odour, smoke, dust or other contaminants. The slaughter house should have a reception area/animal holding yard/resting yard, lairage, slaughter hall, side halls for hide collection. Each establishment/slaughter house is required to make separate provision in the slaughter hall for the slaughter of different species, which are proposed to be slaughtered like large animal viz, cattle and buffalo, pigs and small animals like sheep and goat and for different methods of slaughter i.e. Halal, Jewish and Jhatka. Slaughter house shall have separation between clean and dirty sections. The separate space is also required to have stunning. All the internal walls of the establishment/slaughter houses are required to be paved with impervious glazed tiles up to 1 metre height, in case of poultry and small ruminant animals, and 5 meter height in case of large ruminant animals.

18. Mr. Dharmendra Barthwal further submits that these Regulations have not been complied with in the State of Uttarakhand.

19. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Laxmi Narain Modi Vs. Union of India and others reported in (2014) 2 SCC 417 has issued has issued directions under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Rules framed thereunder for their effective implementation. Their Lordships in paragraphs 7 and 8 have held as under:-

'7. After examining the matter in depth by the Committee, they found the necessity of constituting the State Committees for slaughterhouses to fulfil the mandatory requirements under the various legislations dealing with the functioning of the slaughterhouses in the country.

8. The decision dated 26-4-2012 [of MoEF] is extracted hereunder for easy reference:

'1. CPCB will write to all States informing about its guidelines for slaughterhouses.

(Action: CPCB)

2. CPCB will also initiate action against all slaughterhouses which are not meeting the norms and implement the abattoir rules through SPCB. It was discussed that SPCB even has powers to close slaughterhouses under these rules.

(Action: CPCB)

3. The States to be requested to constitute the State Committees for slaughterhouses as follows:

(i) Secretary of the Department of Urban Development of the State - Chairman.

(ii) Representative Department of Health.

(iii) Representative Department of Animal Husbandry.

(iv) Representative Department of Labour.

(v) Food Safety Commissioner representing Central Food Safety and Standard Authority of India.

(vi) Representative State Pollution Control Board.

(vii) Representative State Animal Welfare Board.

(viii) Representative of State Police.

(ix) Two prominent persons nominated by the State Government.

(x) Such other officers and experts as the members may choose to co-opt.

4. The functions of the State Committee for slaughterhouses so constituted may be as following:

(i) To identify and prepare a list of all the slaughterhouses (SHs) located within the Local Self-Government (Municipal Corporations, Panchayats, etc.)

(ii) To call for reports from the District Magistrate or the Deputy Commissioner and District Food Safety Inspector as the case may be on the condition/functioning of SHs and also on the compliance with the relevant applicable laws.

(iii) To recommend modernisation of old slaughterhouses (SHs) and to relocate SHs which are located within or in close proximity of a residential area.

(iv) To recommend appropriate measures for dealing with solid waste, water/air pollution and for preventing cruelty to the animals meant for slaughter.

(v) To carry out surprise and random inspections of SHs regularly and to issue directions for compliance with the recommendations that may be made by it.

(vi) To send biannual reports on the State SHs to the Central Committee and to refer issues that may require the Central Committee recommendations or Central Government assistance.

(vii) To accord final approval for licensing of SHs to Local Self-Government.

(viii) To identify on an ongoing basis, the unlicensed slaughterhouses in the region, and other unlicensed, unlawful establishments where animals are being slaughtered, on howsoever a small scale, and take the help of the District Magistrate and other law enforcement agencies to crack down on the same.

(ix) To check for child labour.'

20. Learned Counsel for the petitioner, on the basis of instructions imparted to him by his client and the information gathered by him from other sources, submits that, till date, the State Government has not constituted any State Committee for Slaughter Houses to be presided over by the Secretary of the Department of Urban Development of the State as its Chairman.

21. The directions issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court are imperative and mandatory and the same are required to be complied with in letter and spirit. It is a very sensitive issue.

22. The Hon’ble Chief Minister of the State of Uttarakhand has also made a public statement that the State will not permit opening of any large scale ‘slaughter house’ in the State of Uttarakhand.

23. All the slaughter houses throughout the State of Uttarakhand are required to comply with the prescribed standards as discussed hereinabove.

24. It is the duty cast upon the statutory authorities, including Police, to ensure that no illegal slaughtering takes place and the Slaughter House must conform to the standards laid down by the State Pollution Control Board and the Pollution Controlling Committees. Even there are no proper facilities in Slaughter Houses. There is no proper flooring, water supply or ventilation in the slaughter houses. The slaughter houses do not install pollution controlling devices.

25. It has been brought to the notice of the Court by Mr. B.S. Parihar, Standing Counsel for the State that 100 persons have been challaned under various provisions for slaughtering of animals in open spaces. We appreciate this initiative taken by the State Government.

26. The animals meant for slaughtering are to be transported as per the Transport of Animals Rules,

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1978. 27. Accordingly, as an interim measure, the following mandatory directions are issued:- A. All the illegal Slaughter Houses in the State of Uttarakhand are ordered to be sealed within 72 hours from today. B. The Secretary, Home to the State of Uttarakhand is directed to ensure that no animal is slaughtered on the streets or open spaces, forthwith. C. The State Government is also directed to constitute a Committee for Slaughter Houses as per the letter dated 26.04.2012 issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, if not already constituted, within a period of seven days from today. D. 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 at open spaces, open to public gaze. F. The State Government is directed to ensure that no Slaughter House is permitted to run without complying with the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, more particularly, Part- IV of the said Regulations, till further orders. 28. List this matter for further orders on 09.10.2018.
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