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Delhi High Court issues notice to Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board over contempt petition against illegal poultry slaughter

The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and comprising Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing the contempt petition filed by the animal rights activist Gaurav Maulekhi in lieu of the order dated September 24, 2018.

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board and other authorities for failure to implement directions issued with regard to illegal poultry slaughter at the Ghazipur Murga Mandi.

The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and comprising Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing the contempt petition filed by the animal rights activist Gaurav Maulekhi in lieu of the order dated September 24, 2018.

The counsel for the petitioner, Arjun Dewan, informed the court that by virtue of the said order, the court directed that slaughtering activities will not happen in the Ghazipur Murga Mandi. He submitted that an inspection was conducted on August 5, 2019, by a committee headed by the Joint Director, FSSAI, wherein it was observed that there was no proper method being followed at a slaughterhouse for poultry, no hygiene was being maintained, and in addition, the birds were also not found to be healthy. 

The matter will now be heard on August 27, 2021.

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At the outset, a PIL was filed by Gaurav Maulekhi in the year 2018, alleging rampant violation of animal rights at the Ghazipur Murga Mandi. The plea averred that birds were being openly slaughtered in the market without registration/license for slaughter, and in violation of the law. The plea also alleged that poultry birds having contagious diseases and infections were being admitted into the market on account of failure to conduct mandatory health checks. 

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The Bench of Acting Chief Justice and Justice C.Hari Shankar sought response from the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board, Animal Husbandry Department of the Delhi Government, Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and other authorities, vide order dated February 9, 2018. Subsequently, after perusal of the status reports filed by the respondents, the Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice V. Kameswar Rao, vide order dated September 24, 2018, directed to discontinue slaughtering of birds in the area. 

The order reads thus: “We have no option but to direct that in the area in question namely the Gazipur Murga Mandi, no slaughtering of birds would be permitted henceforth. The respondents are granted liberty to work out a system to bring into place or establishment a proper market in the area after complying with all the statutory requirements, particularly the environment and pollution level and on consideration of the same, we would consider the question of permitting operation at the slaughterhouse for poultry in the area in question. Till then, we direct that only sale of live birds can be done in the area in question.”

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