Skip to content


Maneka Gandhi Vs. Union Territory of Delhi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.W. 2961/92
Judge
Reported inILR1995Delhi49
ActsMunicipal Corporation of Delhi Act - Sections 42, 405, 406 and 407
AppellantManeka Gandhi
RespondentUnion Territory of Delhi and ors.
Appellant Advocate M.C. Mehta, Adv
Respondent Advocate Madan Lokur, Standing Counsel for Union of India, ; Swaraj Kaushal, Sr. Adv., ;
Cases ReferredM. C. Mehta v. Union of India
Excerpt:
municipal corporation of delhi act - sections 42, 405, 406, 407--mcd not fulfillling obligations imposed by these sections in relation to conditions at idgah slaughter house--;directions issued to mcd to ensure that yamuna water not polluted by meat waste; reduce number of animals slaughtered per day and bring about hygenic conditions inside slaughter house and re-transportation of live-stock etc.;this petition filed in public interest was the result of seriously deteriorating hygenic conditions at delhi's idgah slaughter house. the petitioner as well as the court appointed committee established that conditions prevalent at the slaughter house were unhygenic, unhealthy, inhuman and creating tremendous pollution--floor was several inches deep in dung, urine, entrails etc.; that carcasses.....dalveer bhandari, j.1. 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 thousand animals in contravention of all laws, rules, regulations and norms.2. 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.3. in the writ petition, it is stated that the pollution.....
Judgment:

Dalveer bhandari, J.

1. 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 thousand animals in contravention of all laws, rules, regulations and norms.

2. 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.

3. 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 litres 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 stacked in trucks and by the time they arrive at the abattoir most of theanimals are half dead.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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 fulfillling 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 utilised in any form and thus create additional sanitary problems and environmental pollution.

14. 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, memorandums by conscious citizens and, voluntary organisations.

15. The effluent having BOD as high as 12750 Mg. per litre Chemical oxygen demand is as high as 28819 Mg. per litre (permissible limit has not been specified) and oil and grease as high as 187 Mg. per litre as against the permissible, limit of 10 Mg. per litre is generated from the said slaughter house and can cause an aerobic conditions.

16. It is also submitted that the Idgah slaughter house is located in one of the busiest commercial and residential areas or Delhi, the prevailing conditions inside the adjoining areas of the slaughter house besides being extremely cruel, inhuman and disgusting, are creating serious problems of water and air pollution for the residents of Delhi and its adjoining States.

17. Learned counsel for the petitioner has pointed out that provisions of various acts and rules framed there under are flagrantly violated in the functioning of Idgah Slaughter House.

18. Learned counsel has pointed out that Section 11 Chapter III of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is violated. There is no machinery 10 ensure implementation of this provision and other similar provisions. Section 11 of the said Act is reproduced below :--

'TREATING ANIMALS CRUELY :--(1) If any person--

(a) beats kicks, overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes or being the owner permits any animal to be so treated ; or

(b) employees in any work or labour or for any purpose any animal which by reason of its age or any desease, infirmity, wound, sore, or other cause, is unfit to be so employed, or being the owner, permits any such unfit animal to be so employed ; or

(c) willfully and unreasonably administers any injurious drug, or injurious substance to [any animal] or willfully and unreasonably causes or attempt to cause any such drug or substance to be taken by [any animal] or

(d) Conveys or carries, whether in or open any vehicle or not, any animal in such a manner or position as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering ; or

(e) keeps or confines any animal in any cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement.

(f) keeps for an unreasonable time any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably short or unreasonably heavy chain or cord ; or

(g) being the owner, neglects to exercise or cause to be exercised reasonably any dog habitually chained up or kept in close confinement ; or

(h) being the owner to [any animal] fails to provide such animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter ; or

(i) without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which render it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst ; or

(j) willfully permits any animal, of which he is the owner, to go at large in any street while the animal is affected with contagious or infectious disease or without reasonable excuse permits any diseased or disabled animal, of which he is the owner, to die in any street ; or

(k) offers for sale or without reasonable cause, has in his possession any animal which is suffering pain; by reason of mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or other ill treatment ; or

(l) mutilates any animal or kills any animal (including stray dogs) by using the method of strychnine injections in the heart or in any other unnecessarily cruel manner, or ............................ .............'

19. Learned counsel also submitted that the provisions of Section 81 B of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 are also violated and non-observance can lead to serious consequences. Same is reproduced hereunder .--

'81. B. Prohibition of slaughtering and flaying of animals depositing or rubbish and other polluted or obnoxious matter in the vicinity of aerodromes--No person shall slaughter or flay any animal or deposit any rubbish, filth, garbage or any other polluted or obnoxious matter including such material from hotels, meat shops, fish shops and bone-processing mills which attracts or is likely to attract vultures or other birds and animals within a radius of ten kilometers from the aerodrome reference point.

Provided that the Director General or a Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation may, if he is satisfied that proper and adequate arrangements have been made by the owners of hotels, meat shops, fish shops and bone processing mills so as to prevent attraction of vultures or other birds and animals, having regard to the vicinity of place of slaughter from the aerodrome, arrangements for disposal or deposit of carcass, rubbish and other polluted and obnoxious matter, grant permission in writing for the purpose.

20. Learned counsel has also invited attention of this Court to Article 47 of the Constitution, which makes improvement of public health a primary duty of the State. Article 48 deals with State's obligation to provide shelter to cows, calf and other milch and draught cattle learned counsel has also invited our attention to Article 48A where it is an obligation on the State to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country. He also invited our attention to Article 51A(g), which deals with protection and improvement of the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures. Though these Articles are in Part IV of the Constitution but in the larger public interest, they must be enforced.

21. Articles 47, 48, 48A and 51A(g) of the Constitution arereproduced below :

47. The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

48. The State shall endeavor to organise agricultural and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

48A. The state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.

51A. It shall be duty of every citizen of India--

(a) .............................................

(b) ............................................

(c) .............................................

(d) .........................................

(e) ....................................

(f) .......................................

(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, livers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures'.

22. The learned counsel has vehemently submitted that there is a clear breach of the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution by the Idgah Slaughter House. He submitted that breath is life. If a man is deprived of pure air and water he cannot survive. Right to live with dignity is dependent on right to live in safe environment. A man requires 3-4 pounds of solids, he requires 7-8 pounds of water and 45-50 pounds of air per day. If human inhale toxic air and drinks polluted water, he cannot lead healthy life. Right under Article 21 does not mean that continuance of a man with animal existence but a right of possession of each of the organs such as arms, legs, life of environment are indivisible. Nature and environment concern the entire society.

23. According to the counsel for the petitioner, the current development of the society carries with it a possibility of emergence of ecological crisis. Seen from distant future, a collapse that may be followed by extinction of mankind. According to the data prepared by the Union of Survey of Nature and Natural Resources, the earth is degrading at the rate of 44 hectare per minute, while each minute 20 hectare of forest land is vanished from this earth.

24. Counsel for the petitioner submitted that there has been flagrant violation of the rules and regulations of various provisions of the acts by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi so far as the instant matter is concerned. The learned counsel has invited our attention to Section 59 of the Delhi Municipal Committee Act, 1957. The entire executive power for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act vest in the Commissioner except pertaining to the Delhi Electricity Supply Undertaking. The Commissioner has failed to perform its obligation and duties of administration under the provisions of Section 59 of the said Act. Section 59 is reproduced below :--

59. Function of the Commissioner.

Save as otherwise provided in this Act, the entire executive power for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act other than those pertaining to the Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking and of any other Act for the time being In force which confers any power or imposes any duty on the corporation shall vest in the Commissioner who shall also--

(a) exercise all the powers and perform all the duties specifically conferred or imposed upon by this Act or by any other law for the time being in force ;

(b) prescribe the duties of, and exercise supervision and control over the acts and proceedings of, all municipal officers and other municipal employees other than the Municipal Secretary and the Municipal Chief Auditor and the municipal officers and other municipal employees immediately subordinate to them and subject to anv regulation that may be made in this behalf, dispose of all questions relating to the service of the said officers and other employees and their pay, privileges, allowances and other conditions of service.

(c) on the occurrence or threatened occurrence of any sudden accident or any unforeseen even or natural calamity involving or likely to involve extensive damage to any property of the Corporation or danger to human life, take such immediate action as he considers necessary and make a report forthwith to the Standing Committee and the Corporation of the action he has taken and the reasons for the same as also of the amount of cost, if any, incurred or likely to be incurred in consequence of such action, which is not concert by a budget grant ;

(d) ..............

Similarly, under Section 42 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act largo number of duties and obligations of the Corporation have been enumerated. Among those obligations and dunes, the obligation for construction and maintenance of municipal market and Slaughter House and regulation of market and Slaughter House is also vested in the Corporation.

Section 42 is reproduced herein under :

Section 42. Obligatory functions of the Corporation.--It shall be incumbent on the Corporation to make adequate provision by any means or measures which it may lawfully use or take, for each of the following mutters, namely:--

(a) the construction, maintenance and cleaning of drains and drainage works and of public latrines, urinals and similar conveniences ;

(b) the construction and maintenance of works and means for providing supply of water for public and private purposes ;

(c) the scavenging, removal and disposal of filth, rubbish and other obnoxious and polluted matters.

(d) the construction or purchase maintenance, extension, management and conduct of.--

(i) any undertaking for the general supply and distribution of electricity to the public ;

(ii) any undertaking for providing a sufficient supply of pure and wholesome water ;

(c) the reclamation of unhealthy localities, the removal of noxious vegetation and generally the abatement of all nuisances ;

(f) the reclamation of places for the disposal of the dead and the provision and maintenance of places for the said purpose ;

(g) the registration of births and deaths ;

(h) public vaccination and inoculation ;

(i) measures for preventing and checking the spread of dangerous diseases ;

(j) the establishment and maintenance of hospitals, dispensaries and maternity and child welfare centres and the carrying out of other measures necessary for public medical relief ;

(k) the construction and maintenance of municipal markets and slaughter houses and the regulation of all markets and slaughter houses ;

(l) the regulation and abatement of offensive or dangerous trade or practices ;

(m) the securing or removal of dangerous buildings and places ;

(n) the construction, maintenance, alteration and improvements of public streets, bridges, culverts, causeways and the like ;

(o) the lighting, watering and cleansing of public streets and other public places ;

(p) the removal of obstructions and projections in or upon streets, bridges and other public places ;

(q) the naming and numbering of streets and premises ;

(r) the establishment, maintenance of, and aid to, schools for primary education subject to such grants as may be determined by the Central Government from time to time ;

(s) the maintenance of municipal offices ;

(t) the laying out of the maintenance of public parks, gardens or recreation grounds ;

(u) the maintenance of a fire-brigade and the protection of life and property in the case of fire;

(v) the maintenance of monuments and memorials vested in any local authority in Delhi immediately before the commencement of this Act, or which may be vested in the Corporation after such commencement;

(w) the maintenance and development of the value of all properties vested in or entrusted to the management of the Corporation; and

(x) the fulfillment of any other obligation imposed by orunder this Act or any other law for the time beingin force.

25. The M. C. D. has failed to discharge its obligation even on this score. Mr. Mehta, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, drew our attention to Section 215. According to this provision, it is the obligation of the Corporation to supply wholesome water for domestic purpose. Section 215 is reproduced :

Section 215

Purity of water for domestic purposes. The Delhi Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Committee shall secure that the water in any water works belonging to the Corporation from which water is supplied for domestic purposes is wholesome.

26. The Delhi Municipal Corporation has failed to discharge the obligation as envisaged under Section 215 of the Municipal Corporation Act. According to the allegations of the petitioner from the Idgah Slaughter House alone 13000 litres of blood is mixed with river water of Yamuna every single day and perhaps the same amount of blood from indigenous slaughtering flows in the Yamuna water. The water of Yamuna is the main source of drinking water for the people residing in Delhi, U. P. and Haryana.

27. The learned counsel has drawn our attention to the provisions of Sections 241 and 242 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. Sections 241 and 242 are reproduced hereunder :

Section 241. Certain matters not to be passed into municipaldrains.

(1) No person shall throw, empty, or turn into any municipal drain or into any drain communicating with a municipal drain--

(a) any matter likely to injure the drain or to interfere with the free flow of its contents or to affect prejudicially the treatment and disposal of its contents; or

(b) any Chemical, refuse or waste steam, or any liquid of a temperature higher than forty five-degrees centigrade, being refuse or steam which, or a liquid, which when so heated is, either alone or in combination with the contents of the drain, dangerous, or the cause of a nuisance, or prejudicial to health, or

(c) any dangerous petroleum

(2) In this Section, the expression 'dangerous petroleum'' has the same meaning as in the Petroleum Act, 1934 (30 of 1934).

Section 242 Application by owners and occupiers to drain into municipal drains, (1) Subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by bye laws made in this behalf the owner or occupier of any premises having a private drain or the owner of any private drain within Delhi may apply to the Commissioner to have his drain made to communicate with the municipal drains and thereby to discharge foul water and surface water from those premises or that private drain.

28. Similarly, the M. C. D. has also failed to discharge its obligation under Section 248 of the Act. Section 248 is also reproduced :

248. Sewage and rain water drains to be distinct.

Whenever it is provided in this Chapter that steps shall or may be taken for the effectual drainage of any premises, it shall be competent to the Commissioner to require that there shall be one drain for filth and polluted water and an entirely distinct drain for rain water and unpolluted sub soil water or both rain water and unpolluted sub soil water, each emptying into separate municipal drains or other suitable places.

29. Chapter 20 of the DMC Act deals with market, slaughter house, trade and occupation. The learned counsel also invited our attention to the provisions of Sections 405, 406 and 407 which deal with the municipal market and slaughter houses. The Commissioner MCD is the in charge. It is submitted that there is no compliance of the provisions of the Act by the M. C. D. Same are reproduced :

Section 405. Provision of municipal market and slaughter houses.

(1) The Commissioner, when authorised by the Corporation in this behalf, may provide and maintain municipal markets and slaughter houses in such number as he thinks fit together with stalls, shops, sheds, pens and other buildings and conveniences for the use of persons carrying on trade or business in or frequenting such markets or slaughter houses and may provide and maintain in any such markets, buildings and places machines, weights, scales and measures for the weighment or measurement of goods sold therein.

(2) Municipal markets and slaughter houses shall be under the Control of the Commissioner who may, at any time, by public notice, close any municipal marker or slaughter house or any part thereof.

406. Use of municipal markets.

(1) No person shall, without the general or special permission in writing of the Commissioner, sell or expose for sale any animal or article in any municipal market.

(2) Any person contravening the provisions of Sub-section (1) and any animal or article exposed for sale by such person, may be summarily removed from the market by or under the orders of the Commissioner or any officer or employee of the Corporation authorised by the Commissioner in this behalf.

407. Private markets and slaughter houses.

(1) No place other than a municipal market shall be used as a market unless such place has been licensed as a market by the Commissioner.

(2) No place other than a municipal slaughter house shall be used as Slaughter Houses.

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed--

(a) to restrict the slaughter of any animal in any place on the occasion of any religious festival or ceremony, subject to such conditions (non compliance with which shall be punishable under this Act) as the Commissioner may, by public or special notice, impose in this behalf, or

(b) to prevent the Commissioner, with the sanction of the Corporation, from setting apart places for the slaughter of animals in accordance with religious custom.

30. Learned counsel also referred to Sections 268, 269, 270 and 270A of the Indian, Penal Code. According to the petitioner, there is clear violation of these provisions by the M.C.D. These sections deal with public nuisance and contravention of these provisions should attract penal consequences but these provisions are not implemented by the M.C.D.

31. Similarly the counsel referred to the Water Pollution Control Act 1974, Section 16 of the Air Pollution Act, 1981, Aircraft Rules, 1973, National Health Services Act 1983. In substance the main submission of the counsel for the petitioner has been that wholesome water and pure air is concomitant of Article 21 of the Constitution,

32. The learned counsel for the petitioner also referred to the latest study conducted by 'World Health Organisation' and 'United National Environment Programme' indicating that two-third of the world about 1.3 billion city dwellers breathe poisonous air and face danger of slow death. The study shows that some countries are making efforts to improve the situation while things are getting bad to worse in other countries.

33. Reference to some of the provisions and rules of English Acts may be relevant. In countries where virtually the entire population is non-vegetarian and meat is the staple food, even in those countries, provisions and regulations have been made against cruelty of animals, and, made provisions to ensure humane conditions to the animals. Reference to some provisions of Protection of Animals Act, 1911 would clearly demonstrate that the framers of law in those countries were very careful in providing humane conditions even to the animals and were conscious that even when the animals have to be slaughtered for the purpose of food, any unnecessary pain and suffering ought be avoided. Not only that, there are clear provisions where cruelty to animals is a punishable offence. Section 1 of the said Act is reproduced hereunder :

Section 1--Offences of Cruelty (1) If any person--

(a) shall cruelly beat, kick, ill-treat, over-ride, over-drive, over-load, torture, infuriate, or terrify any animal, or shall cause, or procure or, being the owner permit any animal to be so used, or shall by want only or unreasonably doing or omitting to do any act, or causing or procuring the commission or omission of any act, cause any unnecessary suffering or, being the owner, permit any unnecessary suffering to be so caused to any animal; or

(b) shall convey or carry, or cause or procure or, being the owner, permit to be conveyed or carried, any animal in such manner or position as to cause that animal any unnecessary suffering; or

(c) shall cause, procure, or assist at the fighting or baiting of any animal; or shall keep, use, manage, or act, or assist in the management of, any premises or place for the purpose, or partly for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal, or shall permit any premises or place to be so kept, managed, or used, or shall receive, or cause or procure any person to receive money for the admission of any person to such premises or place; or

(d) shall willfully, without any reasonable cause or excuse, administer, or cause or procure, or being the owner permit, such administration of, any poisonous or injurious drug or substance to any animal, or shall willfully without any reasonable cause or excuse, cause any such substance to be taken by an animal; or

(e) shall subject, or cause or procure, or being the owner permit, to be subjected, any animal to any operation which is performed without due care and humanity;

(f) shall to there any horse, ass or mule under such conditions or in such manner as to cause that animal unnecessary suffering; such person shall be guilty of an offence of cruelty within the meaning of this Act, and shall be liable upon summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both'.

34. Similarly, reference to Regulations 5, 6, 7 and 8 would show that no undue pain or distress is caused to the animals and they must have access to food and water. These regulations are reproduced herein under :

'REGULATION 5

It shall be the duty of the occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard or lairage to ensure that no animals are unloaded from a vehicle in the slaughterhouse or knacker's yard or lairage in such a way as to cause unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress to such animals. REGULATION 6

No person shall :--

(a) cause unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress to any animal which is awaiting slaughter in a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard or which is confined in a lairage; or

(b) permit any such pain or distress of which he knows or may reasonably be expected to know.

35. In English law, there are not only provisions which have been incorporated to ensure that unnecessary pain and distress be avoided that there are also provisions by which it has also been ensured that animals much be provided with wholesome food and water. Regulation 7 deals with this aspect. This provision is also reproduced

REGULATION 7

The occupier of a lairage shall ensure that :--

(a) a sufficient quantity of clean drinking water is provided for an animal on its arrival at the lairage and at all times thereafter; and

(b) a sufficient quantity of wholesome food is provided for an animal on its arrival at the lairage and twice daily thereafter, except that no animal need be fed within 12 hours of the time at which it is slaughtered.

REGULATION 8

(1) The occupier of a lairage shall ensure that :--

(a) animals confined in lairage have :--

(i) sufficient space to stand up, lie down and turn around, and

(ii) easy access to the food and water provided for them,

(b) subject to paragraph (2) below, an adequate quantity of suitable bedding is provided for animals, confined in the lairage from one day to the next; and

(c) the lairage; and the equipment contained in it, is kept clean and in good repair at all times.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) (b) above shall not apply in the case of animals kept on a slatted or mesh floor in a lairage.

36. Regulation 11, 12 and 13 have been incorporated to ensure that even the animals awaiting slaughtering may also be provided humane conditions. Regulations 11, 12 and 13 are reproduced herein under :

REGULATION 11

No person shall keep in a field any animal awaiting slaughter if the weather or the conditions of the field is likely to cause unnecessary distress to the animal.REGULATION 12

The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard shall ensure that :--

(a) no blood or the refuse from the slaughter hall is deposited in or allowed to flow into a lairage; and

(b) as far as is practicable, the blood and the refuse is removed from the slaughter house or knacker's yard in such a way that animals awaiting slaughter cannot see or smell such blood or refuse.

REGULATION 13

1. No person shall, in a slaughterhouse, knacker's yard or lair-age :--

(a) hit, prod, or handle an animal in a manner which is likely to cause it any unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress;

(b) lead or drive any animal over any ground of floor the nature or condition of which is likely to cause the animal to slip or fall;

(c) lift or drag an animal by the head, feet, tail or by any other part if its body in a manner which is likely to cause the animal any unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress;

(d) lift a sheep off the ground by its fleece ;

(e) subject to paragraph (2) below, use any instrument which is capable of inflicting an electric shock to control any animal.

2. The prohibition in paragraph (1) (e) above shall not apply to the use of an instrument mentioned in that paragraph on the hindquarters of any cattle or adult pigs which are refusing to move forward when there is space for them to do so.

37. Regulation 36 of the said Act has been incorporated to ensure compliance of these regulations and non-compliance or contravention has been made a legal offence, where a person guilty of an offence can be fined or imprisoned. Regulation 36 is reproduced herein under :

REGULATION 36

1. If any person contravenes any of the provisions ofthese Regulations he shall be guilty of an offenceexcept that such a person shall not be guilty of amoffence in respect of any such contravention if heproves that by reason of an accident or other emergency the contravention was necessary for preventinginjury or suffering to any person or animal.

2. Any person guilty of an offence against the Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both.

3. Where any person convicted of an offence in respect of any contravention of any provision of these Regulations (including any person convicted of an offence by virtue of the provisions of Section 44(1) of the Magistrate's Court Act 1980 (a) is the holder of a license granted under Section 1 of the Act in respect of the premises where the offence was committed, the court may, in addition to any other punishment, cancel the license.

38. Reference to another piece of legislation i.e. The Transit of Animals (Road and Rail) Order, 1976, shows that even in transportation of the animals, the British legislators insisted on providing humane conditions to the animals Section 4(1), (2) and (3) have laid down the conditions, how even loading and unloading of the animals should be effected.

39. Regulation 17 ensures safety of the animals during transportation and deals with ventilation and disinfection.

40. A reference to the Slaughter of Animals (Humane Conditions) Regulations, 1990, would also be relevant.

41. Section 3 deals with the obligation and duty of the occupier of the premises to ensure facilities provided for the purpose of loading and unloading of the animals.

42. Section 4 has been incorporated to ensure that the premises are constructed and maintained in the manner so as to prevent any injury being caused to any animals confined there.

43. Section 7 and 8 of the said Regulation also deal with the obligation of the occupier regarding clean drinking water and food to be provided to the animals and Section 8 provides that each animal should have sufficient space to stand up, lie down and turn around and easy access to the food and water provided for them. Sections 7 and 8 of the said Regulations are reproduced :--

'The occupier of a lairage shall ensure that --

(a) animals confined in the lairage have

(i) sufficient space to stand up, he down and turn around, and

(ii) easy access to the food and water provided for them,

(b) subject to paragraph (2) below, an adequate quantity of suitable bedding is provided for animals confined in the lairage from one day to the next; and

(c) the lairage, and the equipment contained in it, is kept clean and in good repair at all times.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1)(b) above shall not apply in the case of animals kept on a slatted or mesh floor in a lairage.

44. The aims and objects behind Section 26 and other sections clearly show that even animals which are going to be slaughtered even on them, as little pain and suffering as possible be made which is absolutely imperative. Non-compliance of these provisions have been made serious offences and guilty persons can be fined or even imprisoned for contravention of these provisions,

45. This court issued notice to the respondents why rule nisi be not issued. Answer to show cause has been filed oni behalf of the principal respondent the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. They have annexed large number of inspection notes to establish that conditions inside the slaughter house and its adjoining areas are not what have been indicated by the petitioner. It has also been denied that the respondent M.C.D. is violating various provisions of the acts and rules framed there under.

46. Dr. R. K. Bhargava, Manager, Slaughter House, Idgah Road, filed answer to show cause on behalf of respondent no. 2. In his affidavit, it is stated that on an average 8000 sheep and goats and 2000 buffaloes are slaughtered every day. All precautions for main-training sanitation and proper examination of animals are being taken in the existing facilities available in the slaughter house. For maintaining sanitation, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has employed 115 Safai Karamcharis for cleaning the slaughter house, 8 trucks, 4 loaders have been deployed for quick and regular removal of waste from the slaughter house every day. For proper technical examination of animals, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has provided 15 veterinary doctors, 3 superintendents and one Manager at the slaughter house.

47. In the affidavit, it is denied that the animals are butchered in a most cruel manner and under unhygienic conditions in busy markets and residential areas in broad day light. It has also been mentioned in the affidavit that precautions are also being taken to observe that no heifer, pregnant animal, sheep and goat under four weeks of age, sick animals and milk giving animals are slaughtered in the slaughter house. However, there is no ban of age limits of slaughtering of buffaloes. It is also mentioned in the affidavit that the waste water from the slaughter house is put in the supply line which is connected through a close conduit sewer system from slaughter house to Okhla Treatment Plant, where effluent plant has been installed and the water is discharged in river Yamuna only after treatment. The effluent treatment plant cannot be set up at Idgah slaughter house due to acute shortage of space in the slaughter house complex.

48. Mr. J. M. Sabharwal, learned counsel for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has produced minutes of the meeting held under the Chairmanship of the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi on 10th November, 1993, regarding sanitary and hygienic conditions of the Idgah slaughter house in pursuance of the directions of this court. The meeting was attended by the senior officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Chief Engineer, W. S. & S. D. Undertaking, Law Officer, Legal Adviser, Superintending Engineer, Deputy Health Officer, Manager (slaughter house), General Manager, APEDA Deputy Director, APEDA Shri Ashok Narang, Arabian Exports, Dr. A.M. Haleen, Dir Hind Industries, Shri M. Kamil, M.K. Exports, Shri Zia, M.K. Overseas, Shri Rajeev A & P. Attawa & Co.

49. In the minutes of this meeting, it has been recorded that according to the available infrastructure of the slaughter house, slaughtering of manageable number of animals i.e. 6000 sheep goat and 700 buffaloes which is its domestic requirement. The learned counsel for the petitioner as well as the respondent and the imp leaded respondents were unanimously of the view that livestock market must be shifted immediately from the existing site, though in the minutes. It has been recorded that if the number is reduced, then there will be no need to shift the existing livestock market.

50. The learned counsel for the MCD submitted that they have already got possession of 40 acres of land at Narela. Out of that land, some land can be immediately made available for livestock market as a temporary measure till the proper slaughter house is constructed. Transportation shall be the responsibility of the traders.

51. Mr. Sabharwal, learned counsel for the MCD submitted that to maintain proper discipline among butchers, it is necessary that the butchers are licensed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The item of licensing all the butchers was also taken up in the meeting. It has been mentioned in the meeting that a public notice for butchers was issued by the Health Department of Municipal Corporation of Delhi on 5-11-1993, by which all desirous in butchery at the Idgah slaughter house may apply for grant of license by 30-11-93 and their application would be scrutinised immediately thereafter and only licensed butchers shall be permitted in the slaughter house.

52. Learned counsel for the MCD is also agreeable that the children shall not be issued licenses and they shall not be permitted in the slaughter house. Mr. Sabharwal has agreed that it is the responsibility of the Corporation to maintain the slaughter house in the municipal areas of Delhi and hygienic conditions will be provided in the slaughter house so that the meat consuming population does not get contaminated meat. He further assured the court that necessary improvements shall be carried out.

53. On behalf of the M.C.D. affidavit of Dr. K.N. Tiwari, Deputy Health Officer, Municipal Corporation of Delhi was filed on 45th May, 1993. In that affidavit, it has been indicated that slaughter house at Idgah was started about 90 years back and was meant to cope with the slaughtering of 400 sheep and goats and about 50 buffaloes, to meet the requirement of the then population of Delhi. With the passage of time, now with the increase of population about 8000 sheep and goats and 2000 buffaloes are slaughtered everyday. Along with the affidavit, minutes of the meeting held under the Chairmanship of the Commissioner on 3-12-1992.

54. In para 11 of the minutes, it is mentioned that the Commissioner has informed that in buffaloes livestock market, there is no arrangement for water for animals because space was less and animals were more. There is always congestion and there is no space for movement of animals. In sheep and goat livestock market, there is no arrangement of water. There is also a great rush of sheep and goats in the market and they cannot move about for water.

55. In para 16 of the minutes, it has been indicated that there were complaints of insanitation on Jhandewalan road due to blockage of sewers.

56. On behalf of the respondents 1 and 3, an affidavit has been filed of Chander Prakash, Environment Engineer, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, on 26th May, 1993. In para 3, it is stated that 'slaughtering of animals causes water pollution, ill-managed slaughtering without observing the proper norms also causes odour problem resulting in air pollution. Slaughtering of animals at a particular place is regulated by provisions of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

57. In para 4, it is stated that the effluent treatment plant to treat the trade effluent being generated at Idgah Slaughter house has not been installed so far to the best of the knowledge of the respondent.

58. Though in the same affidavit in para 5, he has mentioned that only fully treated affluent is discharged into river Yamuna and partly treated effluent from Okhla Sewage Treatment Plant is diverted to Agra canal and for irrigation purposes.

59. In para 6, it has been mentioned that the Ministry of Environment and Forest had issued directions under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 for closure of the slaughter house w.e.f. 1-1-1991 in case the slaughter house fails to install suitable effluent treatment plant. The Ministry was informed by the Central Pollution Control Board (functioned as a State Board for Union Territory of Delhi up to 20-6-91) in April, 1991 that slaughter house had not installed effluent treatment plant.

60. In para 10 of the affidavit, which is reproduced hereinafter, shows that unhygienic conditions are prevalent. It says, 'It is not denied that immediate measures are required to be taken for improvement in the hygienic conditions in the Idgah Slaughter House and the provisions of B. P. A. have to be complied with.' The affidavit of Dr. Bhargava and Dr. Tiwari filed on behalf of the same Corporation give some what conflicting description regarding prevailing conditions therein.

61. Mr. M. C. Mehta, learned counsel for the petitioner in rejoinder submitted that there is no question of improvement in the prevailing conditions at the slaughter house but in fact conditions are going from bad to worse, despite reports of several committees of the respondent the MCD and directions by large number of officials and bodies.

62. Mr. Mehta further submitted that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is flagrantly violating the provisions of the MCD and other Acts and rules framed there under. These illegal activities of the M. C. D. must be stopped forthwith, Mr. Mehta also submitted that credibility of exports (meat) would also be established only when good quality wholesome and hygienic meat is provided for export purposes also.

63. The petitioner has filed large number pictures to demonstrate the prevailing conditions at the slaughter house.

64. In view of somewhat contradictory stand taken by the parties regarding prevailing conditions in and adjoining areas of slaughter house, this court considered it appropriate to appoint, a Committee comprising of three practicing lawyers of this court to get true and correct picture of the prevailing conditions at the Idgah slaughter house. Accordingly, a committee comprising Mr. Raj Panjwani, Mr. Atul Nanda and Ms. Seema Midha was appointed and the Committee was requested to give its report on the following aspects :

1. How many animals are slaughtered each day in the said Idgah slaughter house and what is the optimum capacity looking to the available infrastructure of the said slaughter house.

2. Available facilities regarding hygiene and sanitation.

3. Whether all animals are medically examined before slaughtering ?

4. Number of veterinary doctors available and how many animals can possibly be examined medically by one veterinary doctor, in one day ?

5. Transportation system to carry animals before and after they are slaughtered.

6. Norms adopted by the slaughter house regarding the age of the animals slaughtered.

7. How the carcasses, bones and skins of the slaughtered animals are disposed of ?

8. Whether conditions prevailing in the slaughter house are a threat to air and water pollution in the vicinity.

9. Prevalent cruelty towards the animals in the slaughter house.

65. The Committee in pursuance or our direction, visited the slaughter house and interviewed number of persons and submitted a detailed report. We deem it appropriate to reproduce the report because members of the committee had taken great pains and prepared a detailed and meticulous report. According to all the three members of the Committee, the scope of inspection was extensive and the Committee invited volunteers to assist the committee on the technical aspects of inspections. The committee was assisted by the following individuals :--

(i) Dr. Naresh Garg (Vet).

(ii) Sh. Gurvinder Singh Bhatia, (Environmental) Engineer.

(iii) Sr. Gautam Vohra (Environmental Research).

(iv) Sh. M. Khalaid (Area Representative).

(v) Sh. Himanshu Malhotra, Video Camera Photographer.

(vi) One video camera photographer.

(vii) One still camera photographer.

66. Again the Committee members visited the Idgah Slaughter House on 18th August, 1993. It is stated in the report that a large number of butchers had alleged that the semblance of cleaning activity is being undertaken only for the eyes of the committee, otherwise, no proper and timely steps are taken to clean the waste.

67. The Committee could not inspect the buffalo section because the shift was to commence only from 11 a.m. onwards. Hence, the committee decided to visit the abattoir without giving prior notice in order to ascertain true and correct picture regarding the prevailing conditions therein. The second inspection of the abattoir was carried out on 25th August, 1993 between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. We deem it proper to reproduce the report of the Committee in toto so that true and correct picture of prevailing conditions and eye-witness account of the committee members can be appreciated in correct perspective. The report is reproduced herein under :

LOCATION:

The abattoir is located in Paharganj Sadar Bazar area of Delhi and is situated in between Idgah Road and Mundewala Road. The main entrance to the abattoir is from the Idgah Road side. There is a school for children adjacent to the entrance to the abattoir from the Idgah Road side and there is yet another school which is situated across the road towards the opposite end of the abattoir.

AREA :

The total area of the abattoir is seven acres and is divided as under :

(i) Live stock market2 acres(ii) Slaughter house & office2 acres(iii) Vacant land not being put to any use2 acres(iv) Illegal hutments of brokers used for commercial

purpose only1 acre Total7 acresSECTIONS:

The slaughter house area of 2 acres comprises of three sections namely (1) Jhatka section, (2) buffalo section and (3) Halal section.

Each section is divided into two portions, first the ante mortem and the other slaughtering. The area of the respective sections and of their portions are as under :

SectionAntemortemSlaughteringTotalJhatka 1044.90 1222.47 2267.37Halal 995.46 2993.44 3988.90BuffaloeDoes not exist 5416.47 5416.47LIVE STOCK MARKET .

Within the abattoir compound there exists and functions a live stock market. It is at this market that animals are purchased from the Wholesaler by the local retailers. The retailers thereafter take the animals to the slaughtering sections for processing. An open area of 5952 sq ml adjacent to Mundewala Road has been set apart and used as the buffaloes live stock market. There is no separate area earmarked for sheep-goat market, but the passage measuring about 12032.50 sq mts which starts from the entrance from the Idgah Road side and ends at the end of the abattoir is used as the sheep-goat live stock market.

SHIFTS :

The shifts for the halal and jhatka sections for the slaughtering of sheep-goat meant for domestic sale only is from 5 a.m. to 12 noon. And the second shift is exclusively for slaughtering of sheep-goat for export sale only is from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

As regards buffalo section, buffalo meant for export sale are slaughtered from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and that for domestic sale are slaughtered from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

CONGESTION

On August 18, 1993 the members of the committee visited the Idgah slaughter house from the Idgah road side. The entire stretch of the Mundewala Road as well as the Idgah Road adjacent to the abattoir was congested with large number of trucks, tempos, hand carts etc. and animals which were being ruthlessly herded towards the main Idgah entrance of the abattoir. It is reported by the committee that the animals were being frequently beaten by sticks and pulled by their ears-horns and pushed into the gate of the abattoir. Quite a few buffaloes who were weary and could not stand up, had been bodily lifted and made to lie down on to a hand cart and were tied with ropes all around to stop them from slipping off were being ferried into the abattoir. The entire stretch of the road was covered with animals and men. The density of animals and the vehicles and human being was so thick that it took over 20 minutes for the committee members to cover a distance of about 50 yards on the Idgah road.

After entering into the abattoir the members of the committee were received by Dr. R. K. Bhargava, who took the members into his office, which is located on the left hand side of the main entrance. Dr. R. K. Bhargava gave information about the abattoir and answered various questions put to him by the committee members.

The committee thereafter proceeded for inspection.

The congestion on August 25, 1993 on the road was similar as, on August 18, 1993, but on much less scale, as the maximum of slaughtering of sheep and goats is done in the morning shift. As regarding buffaloes, maximum of them had already been brought into the abattoir, as the first shift had already started since 11 a.m The committee had reached the abattoir at 3 p.m. and on entering immediately started the inspection. Later Dr. S. S. Srivastava came forward to assist the committee for the purpose of inspection and after the inspection, supplied the information asked for.

(I) How many animals are slaughtered each day in the said slaughter house and what is the optimum capacity looking to the available infrastructure ?

As per the statistics supplied by Dr. R. K. Bhargava the average numbers of animals slaughtered per day at the abattoir were as under :

AVERAGE NUMBER OF ANIMALS SLAUGHTERED PER DAY

(i) Sheep goat for domestic sale6000(ii) Sheep goat for export sale2000(iii) Buffaloes for domestic sale 500(iv) Buffaloes for export sale 1500 10000On August 18, 1993 when the team had visited 6006 sheep-goat were slaughtered in the domestic morning shift i.e. 5 a.m. to 12 noon of the Halal section and 1626 sheep-goat were slaughtered in the morning shift of the Jhatka section.

On August 25, 1993 the details of the number of animals slaughtered are as under :--

Section Shiftof AnimalsJhatka5 a.m. to 12 Noon 1718Halal5 a.m. to 12 Noon 53341 p.m. to 7 p.m. 4856Buffaloe11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 275510 p.m. to 3 a.m.Details not supplied Total14633The members of the committee during the course of inspection had enquired from the butchers as well as from the staff of the abattoir and were informed that on an average about 12000 animals are slaughtered in one single working day.

As regards the optimum capacity looking to the available infrastructure, the committee had put this question to the officers of the abattoir and on condition, of anonymity were candid enough to state that the number of animals being slaughtered presently are much beyond the capacity of the abattoir thereby overburdening the sanitation and hygiene facilities. The said officers were of the view that the abattoir can effectively manage slaughtering of 1500 buffaloes and 6000 sheep-goat per day. The committee is of the: view that the number of animals which can be slaughtered in a given day as stated by the said officers is still on a much higher side. Taking into consideration the area, and the infrastructure available and the capacity of the available veterinary doctors to conduct proper ante-mortem examination of animals, the optimum capacity of the Idgah abattoir is about 500 buffaloes per day and 2000 goat-sheep per day.

(II) Available facilities regarding hygiene and sanitation.

(i) Waste : The entire abattoir right from the main road onwards is an endless stretch of several inches thick of animal dung and urine. And the stink of animal waste is unbearably nauseating, which emanates from the purification of urine, excreta, blood, entrails etc. The most unhygienic place in the abattoir are the buffaloe, halal and jhatka sections. The entire floor is full of waste discharged from the entrails and blood. The animals are slaughtered ruthlessly on this floor and they spend their last moments screaming and bleating, in the filth of the entrails and blood. The animal after being slaughtered, is hung on a hook and dressed. After dressing, i.e., removal of hide, the process of Evisceration begins whereby the chest and the stomach is ripped open and the offal's and entrails are snatched out. Edible and non-edible offal's are segregated. The waste from the entrails is emptied out at that very spot which gets spread out with the blood on the floor and the non-edible offal's. The animal is then removed from the hook and put aside on that filthy floor.

The committee during inspection was repeatedly informed by the butchers that the cleaning done by the safai karmacharies is perfunctory and at times for days together the said sections are not cleaned leading to piling up of ankle deep filth and causing inconvenience in carrying out their work. According to the staff of abattoir each section is cleaned after the shifts is over and it is not position to clean during the course of the shift. The committee is of the view that both the management of abattoir as well as the butchers working there are equally responsible for the filth which gets accumulated on the floor.

DRAINS :

There are drains located in every section. The drains run parallel to each platform. During inspection the committee observed that large number of drains were completely chocked and were over flowing with solid waste and the discharge from the entrails and blood. Quite a few stretches of drains were being used by some of the butchers for storing heads, hooves etc. and these stretches were deliberately created by choking the two ends with solid waste of the animals.

SUGGESTIONS :

Each section should be provided with large enough wheel barrows which should be kept at strategic points along each platform of the section. The butcher after removing the entrails should discharge the waste from the entrails and other waste products into the wheel barrow and not at the very place of slaughtering. When the wheel barrow is full it should be removed and replaced by a fresh one. The loaded wheel barrow should be emptied into a cistern located near 'Daloo' and after being properly cleaned sent again for loading.

(b) There should be a water pipe running along each platform and having requisite number of taps, so that there is atleast one tap between two butchers. The butchers after slaughtering an animal must clean out this blood from the platform, which will flow into the drain which runs parallel to the platform.

ELECTRICITY :

Each section has Been fitted with fans running parallel to the platform and also has several exhaust fans. But unfortunately, the committee observed that only about 25 per cent of the fans were working. As regards the exhaust fans none of them were working. Further, there was no proper lighting arrangement, with the result it was quite dark and humid in the covered section. And all the persons therein were sweating profusely.

SUGGESTIONS :

The fans and exhaust fans should be changed-repaired immediately. Additional fans and exhaust fans should be installed, so that there is proper ventilation. More electric lights should be provided for better lighting of the section.

WATER :

The committee observed that there was no water available in any of the sections, even to the extent that drinking water was also not available, though a water cooler was placed in the Halal section, its condition was more like an antique than a functioning one. When the committee tried to operate, it, the cooler lived up to its expectation and was not functioning. During the inspection large number of butchers complained of the acute shortage of water and stated that on occasions there was not a drop of water for days together.

The committee observed that the little water available was in a small pond and was meant for cleaning the intestines and other parts of the animals. The water in the said pond was so dirty it had turned yellow with animal excreta and also had blood in it. If was in this yellow water that the intestines were being hand washed.

As regards the availability of water taps, there are none in existence. There are a few water pipe lines and these lines have nipples at several points indicating thereby that a tap was fitted but later removed or that a tap was never fitted.

SUGGESTIONS :

Water should be immediately provided. Taps should be fitted, and more taps at places where there was none at the moment should be installed.

Clean potable water should be immediately provided near each of the sections.

(III) Whether all animals are medically examined before slaughtering ?

(IV) Number of veterinary doctors available and how many animals can possibly be examined medically by one veterinary doctor, in one day ?

The above two questions are inter-related and hence, are being dealt together.

Under the scheme of abattoir every animal to be slaughtered is to be examined before its being slaughtered i.e. ante-mortem, and after the slaughter and cleaning up i.e. post mortem.

ANTE-MORTEM :

There is a place earmarked for ante-mortem examination in the Halal and Jhatka sections both there is none in the Buffalo section.

The committee during the inspection enquired from the present veterinary doctors about the method of ante-mortem examination. Doctors frankly stated that they conduct random visual examination, which if put simply means that while the huge hoard of animals are being pushed, pulled and driven into the section they observe the animals and in case, they have a doubt in respect of an animal they examine that animal.

The committee observed that on August 25, 1993, there was nota single veterinary doctor in the buffalo or the halal section and eventhe alleged random visual ante mortem examination had been dispensedwith.

On August 18, 1988 there was one veterinary doctor in the Jhatka section and two veterinary doctors in the Halal section. The method of examination was a cursory look into the eyes and the feeling of the body for temperature, and the time taken was about 10 seconds. Even these 10 second examination was being conducted only in respect of those animals which the veterinary doctor happened to set his eyes upon and by some instinct felt that animal should be given the 10 second examination. The committee observed that approximately about 5 per cent of the total number of animals being pushed into the section are administered the 10 second examination.

The veterinary doctors candidly admitted to the committee that due to the large number of animals and the confronted attitude of the retailers|butchers, it was not possible to do a proper examination. And that a complete and proper ante-mortem examination of an animal would take about 7-8 minutes.

As per the information supplied by the abattoir officials 9 animalsout of 14663 animals were rejected at the ante-mortem stage onAugust 25, 1993. The reason of injection were that they are milkinganimals or too young. None of the animals were rejected on medicalgrounds.

POST MORTEM :

The animal after being slaughtered and cleaned is to be examined by veterinary doctors in order to check as to whether for any medical reason it is unfit for human consumption. The carcass thereafter is physically stamped by the veterinary doctor declaring that it has been examined and found fit for human consumption. The post mortem examination of the carcass is conducted by checking the following :--

(i) Colour of meat;

(ii) texture of meat;

(iii) lung patches (for T.B. worms);

(iv) liver patches (for flukes, worms);

The committee on August 18, 1993 did not witness any post mortem examination but was orally informed that the post mortem examination is conducted.

On August 25, 1993 what the committee witnessed in the buffalo section was unbelievable. The committee saw a man with a stamp pad, rushing down the platform where the carcasses were lying and stamping all the carcasses. There was no veterinary doctor present. The committee summoned that person and he stated, that his name is Motilal Thakur, he is a helper and a class IV employee. On enquiry, he informed the committee and that he has studied up to eighth class. The committee further enquired as to whether the carcasses have to be examined by a veterinary doctor, if yes, please state his name, Motilal Thakur pleaded ignorance about the fact as to whether the carcasses have been examined by a veterinary doctor. He of course, could not give the name of the veterinary doctor. Mr. Thakur further stated that it was his job to stamp the caracass and he was doing his job and saw nothing wrong or improper in it.

The committee later called the veterinary doctor on duty. The veterinary doctor stated that he had earlier examined the carcasses and that he has just returned after examining about 50 carcasses. The committee felt that the veterinary doctor was making an incorrect statement, as his shoes and trousers were free from even a speck of waste or blood which was littered all over the floor in the section.

The veterinary doctor's were quite candid and stated that they conduct 'apparent post mortem examination' as it is not possible to conduct a proper post mortem examination as that would take about 10--15 minutes per caracass. Further the retailers butchers threaten and fight with them, if they reject an animal. And that they are helpless as there is no security.

The committee also observed from the record that not a single complete caracass has been rejected by the veterinary doctors from 1st to 25th August, 1993.

NO OF VETERINARY DOCtorS :

As per the records of abattoir there are a total number of 35 veterinary doctors. In the Jhatka section three veterinary doctors are placed on duty. In the buffalo Section 11 veterinary doctors per shift are assigned. Regarding the Halal section the register was not available, hence the details in respect of halal section are not available.

As regards the number of animals which can be medically examined by one veterinary doctor in one day, taking into consideration that one animal would require about 10 minutes for proper medical examination, a veterinary doctor would be able to examine 6 animals in one hour, and with this calculation in a shift of eight hours one doctor can examine around 48 animals.

SUGGESTIONS :

(i) Vets should not abdicate their duty under fear of threat and for this proper security should be provided.

(ii) The number of animals being slaughtered in the abattoir should be reduced to the level already suggested, and more veterinary doctors should be appointed so that one veterinary doctor need not examine more than 48 animals in a shift.

(V) Transportation system to carry animals before and after they are slaughtered ?

The animals slaughtered at the Idgah abattoir are mostly brought from Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. The small animals, i.e. sheep and goats by and large are made to walk from the point of origin to the abattoir. As regards buffalo the maximum number of them are brought in open trucks. The committee observed that all the trucks at the abattoir were packed with animals with no open space left and the floor of the truck was full of feces and urine and the odour unbearable. The committee enquired from a truck driver about the place of departure and the duration of journey. He stated that he is coming from Rajasthan and has taken 14 hours to reach the abattoir. The committee enquired as to whether water/fodder was provided to the animals since their departure. The answer was in the negative. The committee also observed that the condition of the animals was pathetic. A few of the buffaloes were actually lying on the floor of the truck and appeared to be half dead. These buffaloes had no energy whatsoever as they could not even move their tail to fly away the flies which were swarming all over them. These buffaloes were tied and had to be dragged out of the truck onto a hand cart, again tied and ferried into the abattoir. These buffaloes right throughout did not make a single movement nor a sound and appeared to be dead, but according to the veterinary doctors who were present inside the abattoir they were alive as their eyes were open and moist.

The carcasses of the animals are kept astride on the shoulders of the helpers, who by and large are young boys, and taken from the section to the waiting vehicle. The carcasses are transported by various modes e.g. band cart, cycle cart, three wheelers, two dumped on to the vehicle, covered, by a piece of cloth and taken away.

SUGGESTIONS :

The committee suggests that the mode of transportation should be such that the number of animals being transported in a truck or any other vehicle should be limited to the number which could easily and comfortably fit in to the vehicle.

Secondly, that during the course of the travel, the animals should be provided necessary fodder and water and a period of rest from the continuous movement of the journey.

(VI) Norms adopted by the slaughter house regarding age of the animals slaughtered ?

The committee was informed by the officials of the abattoir that as regards calves there is no prescribed minimum age limit. And that calves below six months are not ordinarily slaughtered, as it is uneconomical. Though the committee observed that some very small calves were being taken into the abattoir and they appeared to be less than six months of age. As regards sheep and goats, the minimum permissible age for slaughter is six weeks. In other words only those sheep/goat are permitted to be slaughtered in the abattoir whose age is six weeks and above. The committee enquired as to how the age of an animal is judged by the staff and whether there are any prescribed parameters The committee was informed that it was a opinion arrived at by mere observation coupled with experience.

SUGGESTIONS :

The committee is of the opinion that age of animal is the first threshold test to consider its use or potential use for breeding, milking etc. The Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter and Animals Preservation Act, 1977 in Section 5 and 6 stipulates a minimum age of 3 years in respect of calf, irrespective of its sex. It further prescribes that any animal which is or is likely to become economical from the purpose of (a) breeding or (b) draught on any kind of agricultural operations, or giving milk shall not be slaughtered. The committee thereforee suggests that the norms as laid down in Sections 5 & 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter and Animals Preservation Act, 1977 should be immediately implemented in the case of calves.

As regarding sheep/goat the committee suggests a minimum age of 18 months, because a young lamb kid at the age of 6 weeks (present minimum prescribed limit) weighs only about 3-4 Kgs. Further, before a sheep-goat is slaughtered the veterinary doctor at the abattoir should certify that the sheep-goat is no more economical for the purpose of (a) breeding or (b) draught or (c) giving milk.

(VII) How the carcasses, bones and skins of the slaughtered animals are disposed of?

The carcasses, bones and skins of the slaughtered animals are taken away by the butchers|retailers. What is left behind are non-edible offal's, excreta, urine, blood and other waste.

(VIII) Whether conditions prevailing in the slaughter house are a threat to air and water pollution in the vicinity ?

The entire environment around and in the abattoir is vitiated. The smell is so nauseating that this member's of the committee's stomach turned squeamish. Similar was the condition of the people who had to use the roads adjacent to the abattoir and who are working or living in that area. One can only imagine the plight of all the young children who are studying in the two schools whose boundary walls are common: with that of the abattoir.

The committee unfortunately is not equipped to judge the extent of pollution caused to the air and water by the abattoir and suggest that the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi be directed to inspect and give a detailed report.

(IX) Prevalent cruelty towards the animals in the slaughter house ?

Traditional methods of slaughtering, both Jhatka and Halal can only be described as crude and barbaric. Though any killing is cruel, The animals in the slaughter house are exposed to unnecessary ruthless violence from the moment they are slated for slaughter till their death. They are beaten, tortured, their limbs age broken, their throats slit and they are thrown and tossed about quivering in pain till they bleed to death. As a preparation for slaughter about 20 animals are thrown down and their legs tied up while assistants clamp the animals down, then the butchers cut their throats one by one. In the Jhatka section, some heads were seen still shivering after fresh slaughter. In the Halal section, a jugular cut is made in the neck of the animal, animals are thrown away mercilessly with legs handing up till they slowly bleed to death. Such cruelty is revolting and needs to be abolished and replaced by more modern and humane methods of killing.

Moreover, it is impossible to maintain hygienic conditions under the traditional methods of killing.

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS :

(i) CHILDREN

There are large number of boys working in the abattoir. The entire environment and sight shall definitely have a dehumanising effect on their innocent minds. Hence, males under the age of 18 years should not be permitted in the abattoir.

(ii) PERMIT|GATE PASS

Entry of the butchers and other helpers should be regulated. Only those butchers who hold a permit should be allowed inside. The permit should be issued annually and only after proper medical check-up of the applicant. By this method the butcher and his helpers can be regulated to observe proper sanitation and hygiene in the abattoir. M.C.D., should notify proper instructions in this regard and any violation of these instructions would result in suspension cancellation of the permit.

Currently, after the main slaughtering is over, lots of retailers occupy the platform of the main sections where the animals are slaughtered, and they sell the edible residue of a carcass. On August 25, 1993 the prices of various things in this illegal market were as under:

Hooves Rs. 12/- for 9 pairsHead Rs. 10/- for oneLever Rs. 40/- per Kg.Lung & Heart Rs. 4/- per piece. The purchasers were large number of not so well off women with their children and some men. The committee suggests that the mushrooming of such a market in the slaughtering section of the abattoir should be checked forthwith and the entry into the slaughtering sections should be limited only to butchers, their helpers and other authorised persons.

(iii) ILLEGAL SLAUGHTERING

The committee from the various reports has been made aware of large extent of illegal slaughtering of animals i.e. animals slaughtered at places other than the abattoir. And the extent o'f illegal slaughtering is bound to increase in case the suggestions of the committee are accepted and implemented.

Presently, the officials of the slaughter house in order to check illegal slaughtering go on what they popularly term as 'Meat Raid'. And if they find illegal slaughtering being done, the officials examine the carcass and if the carcass does not suffer from any disease, the offence is compounded at the spot and the carcass is handed over to the offender. The compounding fete of sheep-goat is Rs. 50 per carcass and Rs. 200 per carcass of buffalo. If the carcass is unfit for human consumption, it is destroyed.

The details of the compounding fee and the number of carcasses destroyed, as provided by the officials of abattoir are as under:

YearCompounding Fee (Rs.)Destruction (No. of carcasses)1990-1991 184,750 2471991-92 245,050 2451992-93 284,050 295April 1993 45,000 14May 1993 33,850 24June 1993 42,100 10July 1993 32,800 21The above figures reflect the number of illegal slaughtering cases detected, and one can only visualise the number of cases which went undetected. This clearly establishes that there is a large scale illegal slaughtering of animals in Delhi.

On enquiry the committee has been informed that the compounding fee imposed by M.C.D. is so marginal that the offender does not find it un-economical in continuing illegal slaughtering, keeping in view the cost of transportation and the fees to be paid to M.C.D. The committee suggests the following recoveries :

(a) Compounding fee in respect of sheep/goat should be increased from Rs. 50 to Rs. 500 and for buffalo from Rs. 200 to Rs. 2000.

(b) The S.H.O. of every police station should be directed and made responsible to check, detect, and apprehend persons committing the offence of illegal slaughtering in conformity with the Public Notice No. 4310|DHY|PH|91 dated 24-12-1992 issued by M.C.D.

RELPOCAT1ON OF THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE :--

The slaughter house is situated near Idgah in one of the most congested areas of Delhi, in the heart of busy commercial and residential areas of Sadar Bazar. There are two schools adjoining the slaughter house and the school children, along with the shop keeper and residents of this densely populated area are exposed to unhealthy, unsocial and vastly polluted environment. The location of a slaughter house in a densely populated area is a violation of Environmental Rules, 1989, framed under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and the Environmental Guidelines for setting up of Industries, 1989. This in itself is a sufficient reason for the relocation of present slaughter house.

The committee suggests that for the reasons stated above, the slaughter house should be immediately relocated and till the time it is relocated, proper effective measures should be taken, keeping in view the environment and hygiene and if this is not possible, then it should be ordered to be shut down.

68. Mr. Mehta, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that unless the number of animals slaughtered is drastically reduced, no improvement can be made in hygienic and other conditions of the slaughter house.

69. He further suggested that the detailed report submitted by the court commissioners also clearly indicates that the available infrastructure is wholly inadequate for slaughtering more than 2500 animals per day--500 buffaloes, 2000 sheep's|goats. The conditions prevailing at the slaughter house can only be improved if the number is restricted to 2500 as suggested by the Committee. Even the counsel appearing for the M.C.D. has also submitted that the available infrastructure is wholly inadequate for slaughtering such a large number of animals and if even minimum standard of hygiene and cleanliness have to be maintained, then number of animals to be slaughtered has to be reduced considerably.

70. Mr. Mehta submitted that proper medical examination of even 2500 animals per day would also require at least 50 veterinary doctors. The calculation has been given by the committee. Even if 10 minutes are spent in the entire medical examination per animal then also not more than 6 animals can be examined in an hour and in eight hours about 48 animals. The increased strength of veterinary doctors is also hardly adequate to examine even about 2500 animals per day.

71. This has come as a common suggestion from almost all the counsel appearing for various parties. He further suggested that the M.C.D. has been given possession of 40 acres of land in Narela. The livestock market can be shifted immediately to Narela. That would reduce considerable burden of the slaughter house. There was consensus among the parties that the livestock be shifted from the Tdgah slaughter house.

72. Mr. Mehta also suggested that animals are transported from various States to the abattoir in most inhuman conditions. Animals are stacked on one another and by the time they reach the abattoir, they are virtually half dead. He referred to the Committee's report and suggested that no truck should be permitted to carry more than four buffaloes or 40 sheep/goat and this must be adhered to strictly. He further suggested that most of these animals are brought from Rajasthan, Haryana and U.P. and thereforee, check posts should be set up at the borders and a Veterinary should be posted and at the border itself and these doctors must examine the animals and give for the purposes of human consumption. If this exercise is carried out at the place from where the animals are picked up or at least at the border, in that event the diseased animals or animals which are otherwise unfit for human consumption may not even be transported from that point to the abattoir.

73. He also suggested that the conditions at the meat shop must be improved and meat-eaters must be provided with wholesome and good quality meat. Mr. Mehta further submitted that any amount of directions by the Court may not really solve the problem, in the true sense unless a committee is set up by the Court to ensure compliance of the directions by all concerns. According to the petitioner, court must undertake this exercise in the larger interest of public.

74. Mr. Mehta submitted that the land measuring 40 acres has been considered appropriate for a project to handle about 5900 small stock (sheep's and goats), 1900 large animals (buffaloes) and 200 pigs per day. Then how it is possible to slaughter even larger number of animals hi an area of less than 3 hectares of land while maintaining even minimum standard of hygiene. thereforee, on the government's and the M.CD.'s own showing available land and infrastructure at the Idgarh Slaughter House is totally inadequate and unsuitable. He also referred to the newspaper reports Annexure III, with the caption 'The Meat We eat Is Contaminated'. He also referred to the report of Hindustan Times, dated 6-2-1992 mentioning that 'Indian meat banned in Indonesia'. These reports also reflect on the quality of meat which is made available for indigenous and export purposes.

75. The need for replacement of the existing slaughter house facilities in Delhi has been recognised for over a decade and serious consideration was first given to this as early as; in 1967. The question of construction of a modern slaughter house in Delhi has been examined by slaughter house experts from the world over the FAO Mission was of the considered view that the present facilities at the slaughter house are inadequate and unhygienic. The report has given following reasons to support its case.

(i) The most pressing need for new facilities relates to the totally inadequate and inappropriate location of the present slaughter house Situation in the heart of the city is unacceptable because :--

-- it is an unsocial activity that should be removed from residential areas;

-- gross movement of livestock into the Centre of Delhi causes considerable traffic congestion,

-- serious public health risk arises from the large quantity of affluent for which urban sewers in old Delhi are not adequate.

(ii) The existing facility is physically inappropriate for the production of hygienic meat. Since the municipality has an obligation to the population in Delhi to make available public facilities for the preparation of hygienic meat, this obligation can be met only by replacement of the existing facilities.

(iii) The present site of some 3 hectares is far too small to accommodate the activities required in a livestock marketing and slaughter house complex serving Delhi. (The new livestock market and meat processing plant fully occupies a site approaching an area of 40 hectares.)

(iv) The traditional slaughter system is not conducive for maintaining high standards of hygiene and adequate veterinary control. This indicates the need for the introduction of production line technology to be introduced particularly at the potential scale of operation envisaged.

(v) Pre-slaughter facilities are inadequate leading to :--

-- poor ante-mortem inspection;

-- economic losses due to weight loss;

-- lowering of meat quality because of pre-slaughter stress and

-- difficulty in controlling and organising the functionaries and the slaughtering operations.

(vi) There is considerable wastage of potentially valuable by-products owing to--

-- inadequacy of the physical facilities for collection and handling of minor by-product.

-- impossibility of centralised assembly of minor byproducts with the present dressing system and

-- absence of facilities for the processing of by-products on site and lack of space to establish such facilities within or near the existing slaughter house.

(vii) There is need to consider the new abattoir as part of along range national plan to structure the meat processing industry in India to provide markets for low valued animals and to stimulate extraction and up-grading of livestock in general.

(viii) The existing facilities are totally unsuitable for the production of meat for export. There would be a considerable premium on exported meat, if it can be satisfactorily established that healthy animals have been slaughtered and carcasses dressed under approved and hygienic conditions.

(ix) The existing system of transporting meat in an uncontrolled fashion in open carts to the butchers and exporters premises is unsocial and leads to further risk of contamination of the meat.

76. The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority was imp leaded as respondent in this writ petition. The Agricultural & Processed Food Product Export Development Authority is statutory body under the control of Ministry of Commerce Government of India. The object of this authority is to enhance and promote agro-products including meat produce which is one of the scheduled projects under the Act, Cessation of meat and meat products exports would have serious repercussions on foreign exchange earnings and future share in the international meat export market. It is pertinent to point out that export of meat and meat products from Delhi region is around 50 crores per annum.

77. Mr. Swaraj Kaushal, appearing for APEDA (impleadcd respondent) submitted that reducing number is likely to affect the export obligations and interest of the exporters. He further submitted that it is the statutory obligation, of the Corporation to improve the prevailing conditions at the slaughter house and that the exporters cannot be penalised for the MCD's lapse of not carrying out its statutory obligations. Mr. Sabharwal countered the arguments of Mr. Kaushal by saving that the slaughter house in question was not meant for the export of meat and no infrastructural facilities are available for slaughtering such a large number of animals and this is also not the responsibility and obligation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to maintain the slaughter house for exporting the meat.

78. Mr. Man Mohan, learned counsel appearing for APEDA (Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) also submitted that export of meat and livestock is regulated by the statutory body i.e. APEDA which came into existence vide. The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act 1985 and this is in operation w.e.f. 13th February, 1986. In his application for intervention, he has submitted that the petition filed by the petitioner is a public interest litigation and per se there ought not to be any adversial lis and the applicant would like to assist the Court with relevant fads, parameters and variables which would go a long way in enabling the Court in passing appropriate directions in this case.

79. APEDA's object is to enhance and promote agro products including meat products which is one of the scheduled product under the Act Mr. Man Mohan further pointed out that the export of meat and meat product from Delhi region has earned Rs. 50 crores per annum. In the earlier petition. CW 2267|90 M.C.D. submitted that unhygienic conditions were created partly because of overcrowding at this slaughter house due to additions requirement of meant for export. Thereafter, this Court passed an interim order on 19-12-1991 directing that export wing should be closed w.e.f. 31-12-1993. He further mentioned that even slaughtering of animals for domestic use should stop after 31-12-1993 by which time the M.C.D. should put up alternative slaughter house at some other site. ON the request of the applicant, APEDA, operation of those orders were stayed and ultimately the High Court in its judgment directed that the Tdgah slaughter house shall be closed down w.e.f. 31-12-1993 and a modern slaughter house shall be constructed in any area away from the site before 31-12-1993. It is further submitted that the M.C.D. has acquired a big chunk of land of 40 acres for setting up a modern slaughterhouse. He has further submitted that stoppage of slaughter of animals at the Idgah may also affect the existing and future export potentialities. He also submitted that closing of the Idgah Slaughter House or its export wing would result in closure of ancillary industries leading to the unemployment of persons who are engaged in this business.

80. Mr. Man Mohan submitted that by increasing the fees for slaughtering, over one crore of rupees has been collected by M.C.D. but they have not spent any money on the improvement of the slaughter house. He also pointed out that duties and obligations as enumerated under various provisions are not being discharged by the M.C.D. He also suggested that livestock market must be immediately shifted. That would solve the problem to a large extent.

81. We have carefully considered and examined the submissions of Mr. Kaushal and Mr. Man Mohan. The apprehension of learned counsel that reduction in number of animals to be slaughtered at the Idgah slaughter house would affect export of meat, is not well founded. There are large number of slaughter houses all over the country and some of them have been recently set up with the latest modern technology. Those slaughter houses can take care of the export obligations. In case wholesome and fresh meat is supplied, then eventually our exports would increase.

82. We have also heard Mr. Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Buffaloes Welfare Association. He also argued that number of animals to be slaughtered should not be reduced. There is no merit in the submission of Mr. Rohtagi that the petitioner or the lawyers committee want to change the food habits of the residents of Delhi. The purpose of filing this petition is not to change the food habits of Delhi residents. This is also not the object of the suggestions of the lawyers' committee report either. The petition has been filed primarily to seek direction from the court so that the prevalent hygienic and sanitation conditions at the Idgah slaughter house can be improved, and residents of Delhi can get wholesome and fresh meat.

83. Mr. Mehta submitted that the prevailing conditions at the slaughter house are posing serious threat to this lives and health of millions of residents of Delhi, and adjoining areas, thereforee, in order to improve the prevailing conditions even if some inconvenience is caused for the time being, then, also the residents must be prepared to face the inconvenience in the larger public interest. Mr. Mehta rightly submitted that deficiency, if any, can be replenished by getting the meat from other slaughter houses in vans having facilities of cold storage, the way milk is brought from various States to Delhi.

84. Mr. S. N. Marwah, appearing for imp leaded respondent Mr. Soni, submitted that supply of wholesome and clean drinking water is part of the fundamental rights of the residents of Delhi, as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. This fundamental right of the residents of Delhi and of adjoining areas in flagrantly violated by the Municipal Corporation of Dielhi, by not providing wholesome and clean drinking water. When according to the petitioner, 13000 litres of blood and other effluents from the said slaughter house, are permitted to be discharged in the Yamuna river, then how the M.C.D. is ensuring supply of wholesome and clean water to the residents of Delhi.

85. Mr. Marwaha placed reliance on : [1992]3SCR357 --M. C. Mehta v. Union of India, to demonstrate that every citizen has a right to fresh air and to live in pollution free environment.

86. Mr. Marwaha further submitted that continuation of the Idgah slaughter house is perpetuating tremendous problems for the residents or the locally and school children. Nauseating and foul smell making it extremely difficult for the school children and residents to tolerate such air pollution any longer.

87. We have carefully examined the petitioner's averments in the petition.

88. The petitioner has placed on record 15 coloured photograph. For convenience, the photographs have been numbered from 1 to 15, Photograph No. 1 depicts rows of slaughtered animals and dirt. Fromthis photograph, it is clear that the blood was freely flowing on thefloor. The second photograph depicts slaughter animals lying in bloodand urine flowing all around. The third photograph depicts slaughteredbuffaloes with free flowing of blood. The fourth photograph depictslarge number of carcasses lying in the heap of filth. The fifth photograph depicts pigs being slaughtered in the most barbaric way. Thesixth photograph shows viscera and other organs under most unhygienic conditions in a small pond. The seventh photograph showsskinning of animals carried out under unhygienic condition. Evenskin of semi-conscious animals is taken out. The eighth Photographshows a single rope which passed through the nostrils so that theycannot move. The ninth photograph depicts that large number ofbuffaloes are virtually lying died. The tenth photograph shows abuffalo lying completely exhausted in a heap of filth, garbage andmud. The eleventh photograph shows intestines, stomach and internalorgans lying in open. The twelfth photograph shows that large numberof buffaloes have been loaded in cycle rickshaw in most cruel way.The thirteenth photograph shows rods being inserted in buffaloes. Thefourteenth photograph shows that large number of animals are loadedin a truck in a most barbaric way, with the rope passing throughtheir nostrils so that they cannot move. The fifteenth photographshows that in one truck dozens of large animals are put in the mostinhuman manner.

89. Similarly, large number of photographs have been placed fey lawyers' committee, which also depicts extremely pathetic unhygienic and inhuman condition prevalent at the slaughter house. All the photographs and video film were taken in the presence of butchers and other functionaries of the slaughter house. The video cassette and the photographs depict extremely horrible unhygienic, distressing and disgusting conditions prevalent at the slaughterhouse. There is no semblance of hygienic conditions prevalent there. Animals are slaughtered in most inhuman and barbaric manner. It seems the effort is not to reduce the avoidable pain but to inflict as much pain and torture as possible. Some photographs depict the filth almost up to the ankle level.

90. It was with extreme difficulty we could see these photographs and witness the video cassette. It requires enormous courage to see the video cassette.

91. In answer to show cause, reply affidavit has been filed by Dr. R. K. Bhargava on 29th January, 1993. It is unfortunate that in para 5 of the affidavit, Dr. Bhargava tried to give impression that sanitation conditions ace proper and animals are properly examined. The relevant portion is reproduced below:

'The precautions for maintaining sanitation and proper technical examinations of animals are being taken in the existing facilities available at the slaughter house.'

92. In para 6 of the affidavit, he has mentioned, as under :--

'It is denied that animals are butchered in most cruel manner and under unhygienic condition in busy market and residential area in broad day light in full knowledge of the respondent.'

93. The responsible officers of Government and public undertakings are expected to give true and correct picture of the conditions prevalent. There is no doubt that Dr. Bhargava in his affidavit has deliberately not depicted the true and correct picture of the conditions prevalent at the slaughter house. The trust and credibility of the public institutions are eroded in this manner.

94. When we test the petitioner's averments with large number ofphotographs placed on record by the petitioned and by the lawyers'committee, than conclusion becomes irresistible that the prevailingconditions at the Idgah slaughter house arc most unhygienic, inhuman,dreadful and horrifying.

95. The said slaughter house is also posing serious problems of water and air pollution in the city.

96. The petitioner has categorically averred that about 13000 litres of blood from the said slaughter house joins river Yamuna every day. The slaughtering of animals is done in most unhygienic conditions, filthy interiors, littered with amalgam of urine, dung, blood and viscera. Flies, maggots and roadies cause pollution in the water and air leading to serious health hazard. Effluents discharged in open drains and sewers go to Okhla and many times without even partial treatment joins the river Yamuna.

97. In reply affidavit, Dr. R.K. Bhargava, Manager, Slaughter House, Municipal Corporation of Delhi has of course not accepted the averments but the relevant portion of reply is reproduced herein under :--

'The waste water from the slaughter house is put in the supply line which is connected through, a close conduit sewer system from slaughter house to Okhla Treatment Plant, where effluent plant has been installed and the water is discharged in river Yamuna only after treatment.'

98. Admittedly, the waste water joins river Yamuna, the main source of water supply in Delhi. The only question remains, whether it joins river Yamuna after full treatment or partial treatment or without any treatment. It is difficult to completely adjudicate upon the conflicting claims of the parties in these proceedings but after seeing large number of colour photographs and video film and the report of the Lawyers' Committee, we can safely come to the conclusion that conditions prevalent at the slaughter house are most unhygienic and are posing serious threat to life and health of entire population of Delhi, and particularly to the large meat-eating population of Delhi.

99. In order to improve the prevailing conditions in the larger public interest, we deem it appropriate to give following directions:--

(1) The Municipal Corporation of Delhi must ensure supply of wholesome and pure drinking water of the residents of Delhi, and adjoining areas.

The Administrator, of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi must set up a committee of experts to ensure supply of wholesome and pure water. The committee must send its monthly report to the high-powered Committee, set up by this court.

(2) The Idgah slaughter house must be closed as directed by the judgment in C.W.P. No. 2267|90, C.W.P. 158|91 and C.W.P. 830|92 on 1-10-1992, but if for any reason it continues for some time, in that event, for maintains at least the minimum standard of hygiene and sanitation, number of animals slaughtered must be reduced to 2500 per day i.e. 2000 sheep's|goats and 500 buffaloes, as suggested by the Lawyers' Committee.

The Administrator, M.C.D. is directed to ensure meticulous compliance of these directions and submit a monthly report to the Committee.

(3) Children below the age of 18 years shall not be allowed to work in the slaughter house.

(4) The M.C.D. is directed to take necessary steps to stop illegal slaughtering.

(5) licenses be issued to the butchers by the M.C.D. within three months from today, and the M.C.D. may also prescribed necessary conditions for ensuring the object of hygienic conditions and to proved wholesome meat to the meat eating population of Delhi.

(6) The M.C.D. is directed to appoint adequate number of veterinary doctors for the purpose of proper ante-mortem examination of animals.

(7) Slaughtering hours must be fixed and strictly maintained, so that sufficient time is left for cleaning the abattoir and the other sections of the slaughter house.

(8) The M.C.D. shall ensure anti-mortem medical examination of the animals.

(9) The M.C.D. must ensure compliance of the provisions and rules framed there under regarding minimum prescribed age of animals before they are slaughtered.

(10) The M.C.D. must ensure supply of adequate drinking water for the livestock and for washing and cleaning the abattoir, and other sections of the slaughter house.

(11) The maximum number of animals allowed to be carried in open trucks must not exceed 40 goats|sheep's or 4 buffaloes as specified by the Notification No. F. 18(57-57) issued by the Development Commissioned, Delhi Administration, on September 21, 1961.

(12) The M.C.D. must ensure proper light, electricity, fans coolers, in various sections of the slaughter house.

(13) Compounding fee in respect of sheep's|goats is increased from Rs. 50 to Rs. 500 and for buffaloes from Rs. 200 to Rs. 2000 as suggested by lawyers' committee.

(14) The M.C.D. is directed to frame comprehensive bye-laws/rules for the smooth functioning of slaughter house within three months. In preparing bye-laws and rules, emphasis be given to avoid unnecessary distress and pain to the animal and provide humane conditions even to animals awaiting their slaughter.

100. We would like to place on record our sense of appreciation for the three learned advocates, namely, (1) Mr. Raj Panjwani, (2) Mr. Atul Nanda and (3) Ms. Seema Midha, who or out request visited various sections of the slaughter house and submitted a meticulous and comprehensive report. Despite the fact, that because of the prevalent conditions, the members of the lawyers' committee fell sick and their stomach turned squeamish, even then they completed the report and submitted the same with large number of coloured photographs and video cassette. The committee's report has provided us true and correct picture regarding prevailing conditions at the slaughter house and helped us in deciding this petition.

101. We would also like to place on record our deep sense ofappreciation to the petitioner for filing petition regarding the matterwhich very vitally concern all of us. The petitioner has made earnestefforts in preparing such a detailed and meticulous petition, and placedon record large number of photographs with the sole idea of improvingthe prevailing conditions at the slaughter house in the larger publicinterest.

102. We are of the opinion that strict compliance of the aforesaid directions is extremely vital in the larger public interest. It seems that despite large number of committees which have been set up by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and recommendations from various quarters, and conditions at the slaughter house have not improved.

103. Even the increased fee collected by the M.C.D. for improving the conditions of the slaughter house has not been fully utilised. Dr. Bhargava, Manager, Slaughter House, who filed reply on behalf of the M.C.D. has denied the averments of the petitioner and has not given true and correct picture of the conditions prevalent at the slaughter house. A large number of inspection notes have been placed on record by the M.C.D. to give impression that prevalent conditions are not what have been indicated by the petitioner. These inspection notes and reply affidavit of Dr. Bhargava totally stand discredited in view of the Court Commissioners' report. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has also not fulfillled its obligations as envisaged under Sections 42, 405, 406 and 407 of the M.C.D. Act. Provisions of other Acts and Rules framed there under are also being violated in the day to day functioning of the slaughter house.

104. It is unfortunate that directions given by the Division Bench Judgment of this court dated 1st October, 1992 in C.W. 2267|90, C.W. 158|91 and C.W. 830)92 have not been carried out. thereforee, in order to ensure compliance of our directions, we deem it appropriate to appoint a high-powered committee, headed by Mr. Justice J. D. Jain, retired Judge of this court. He is requested not only to ensure compliance of our directions, but also give necessary directions from time to time after hearing concerned parties. The District Judge, Delhi, is directed to depute one officer of the Delhi Judicial Service to assist the Committee. He would act as Secretary of the Committee. The M.C.D. is directed to provide necessary help and assistance to the committee in its functioning.

105. The writ petition filed by the petitioner is disposed of in terms of the aforesaid directions.

106. The petitioner is entitled to Rs. 11,000 as costs to be paid by the M.C.D. within 4 weeks from today.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //