Zartaj Gul

Zoo case: IHC issues contempt notice to Zartaj

Abdullah Momand

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday issued contempt notices to Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir , members of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and other stakeholders over the death of a lion and a lioness during their transfer from the zoo to a sanctuary last week.

The case was heard by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who sought replies from the parties.

During the hearing in court Climate Change Secretary Naheed Durrani stated before the court that members of the cabinet had nothing to do with the matter. “I accept full responsibility for the incident,” she said referring to the recent animal deaths at the zoo.

The medical report of the lion that died while being shifted from Marghazar Zoo to a sanctuary had revealed that the animals had been kept hungry and thirsty as well. The medical report available with Frontier Post , had stated that the lion had gotten weak as he was kept hungry and thirsty at the zoo.

The report further mentioned that while the lion was being shifted to the sanctuary, it was kept in an enclosed place, which caused additional discomfort and led to the animal feeling suffocated. Report mentioned that various wildlife laws were violated while the animals were being transferred from the zoo.

The Chief Justice, IHC remarked that the federal cabinet gave the approval for the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) hence it is also responsible,

The Chief Justice IHC inquired report is what and what has happened about FIR. The Deputy Attorney General (DAG) said the secretary is conducting an inquiry into it.

Chief Justice remarked how the secretary will conduct an inquiry against her. CJ while pointing out Secretary remarked that it is not only murder of animals. This case will be an example. This is a tale of cruelties of men against the animals, CJ IHC remarked.

The Chief Justice said to the secretary your ministry should stop bringing animals. It does not seem good to court to summon you repeatedly.

All go to the zoo when praise comes from outside. Everyone wants to take credit. When the matter of the responsibility comes then no one is ready to take responsibility. Your ministry does not want to resolve this issue. Almighty Allah has created human beings for the protection of his universe.

The Chief Justice remarked that the cabinet had approved a wild life board. Therefore, they are responsible as well. When credit was to be taken then all were visiting the zoo. When something wrong took place then all said they have no concern with it. Did you know 40 giraffes were imported and all died. There should be restrictions on import of animals.

The court directed DAG to give the name of all members of the wildlife management board to the court.

Secretary climate change said we are conducting inquiry on the incident since the last 6 days persistently.

Our inquiry is underway in the perspective of the court’s orders. We want to file a written reply in the court. 50 percent of animals are not present in the zoo since the last one year. If we don’t comply with the orders of the law ministry then the court should issue some order.

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