IHC summons officials in zoo handover case

Chief justice warns of contempt of court proceedings for ignoring orders


Saqib Bashir August 17, 2019
Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: IHC WEBSITE

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah issuing notices in the contempt of court application to the Islamabad deputy commissioner and other officers summoned them in their personal capacity.

The proceedings took place after the administrative matters of Islamabad’s Marghzar Zoo were not handed over to the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) despite IHC order.

The court has summoned Islamabad Municipal Corporation Director zoo Rana Tahir and deputy director zoo Dr Muhammad Bilal in their personal capacity. Both the officers have been directed to submit written reply before the next hearing.

The court raised the question that why not contempt of court proceedings be initiated against these two officers. The court directed the MoCC secretary that he should submit a reply in writing that why was the implementation of the court’s order of 5th July delayed. The secretary environmental changes was directed to ensure that an authorised officer appear before the court on the next hearing.

The lawyer of the petitioner Owais Awa adopted the stance in front of the court that the municipal corporation director zoo Rana Tahir and deputy detector zoo kept the doors closed for three weeks and refused to hand over the administrative matters of the zoo to the ministry of environmental changes, during this time, the health of the animals inside the zoo has been adversely affected.

The officials of the metropolitan corporation Islamabad have been issued contempt of court notice. The court raised the question that why were the administrative matters of the court not handed over to the ministry of environmental changes and why did not the DC ISLAMABAD Hamza Shafqat act on the court’s order of July 5th.

The condition of the animals in the zoo is deteriorating while the condition of a rare bear which has been injured is critical. The court postponed the hearing of the case till the 29th of August.

The IHC had handed over the charge of the zoo to the environmental changes in order to save the injured bear. The court had declared that owing to the incompetency of the zoo’s administration, the charge was to be handed over to the ministry of environmental changes as it had failed to even look after the crocodiles and Mongolian hawk. The secretary environmental changes was directed to take over the charge of the zoo through senior officers. The officer and board of the ministry of environmental changes will be responsible for looking after the bear and other animals.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2019.

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