SHC summons Karachi Zoo director over condition of animals

Directs SWD to inspect petitioner's claim of monkeys housed in bird cages at park in Gulshan

Our Correspondent March 11, 2021
Karachi Zoo. PHOTO: FILE


The Sindh High Court issued a show cause notice on Wednesday to the Karachi Zoo senior director over a plea pertaining to animals deprived of natural environment at the zoo.

A two-member bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito, was hearing the plea.

The petitioner has maintained in the plea that the environment in Karachi Zoo has become toxic for the animals kept there. They will die soon if efforts are not made for improving the environment, contends the petition. It maintains that the petitioner wants to adopt the white tiger and tigress to show the zoo administration how animals should be kept.

The plea moves the court to seek the records of animals that have died in the zoo in the past decade and details pertaining to animal food and vets at the zoo.

Read: Court summons Sindh wildlife management board head

Irked at the absence of the Karachi Zoo senior director, the court remarked that cases pertaining to animal rights are facing delays.

The bench issued a show-cause notice to the director, summoning him in personal capacity at the next hearing slated for April 19. The Karachi Zoo senior director was asked to explain his reasons for not submitting his reply on the plea.

Caged monkeys

Hearing another plea, pertaining to monkeys being kept in small cages at a family park located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 25, the same bench summoned the Sindh Wildlife Department officials.

During the hearing, the petitioner's counsel, Rida Tahir, maintained that three monkeys at the park are being housed in cages designed for words. This is a violation of animal rights, she contended, arguing that the animals are being deprived of their natural habitat and not being cared for.

The counsel contended that the condition of the monkey cages in the park was very derelict. The animals were not being provided with proper food and water either, she said.

The counsel prayed the court to direct the park administration to ensure a natural environment for the monkeys. She contended that the animals should either be sent abroad or housed in a suitable place in Pakistan.

The bench issued notices to SWD officials, summoning them and directing them to inspect the park and submit a report.

Wheat shortage

Another bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito, summoned Sindh Food Authority secretary Haleem Shaikh in personal capacity over a plea pertaining to the wheat crisis and increased prices of flour.

The petitioner has maintained in the plea that the mafia created an artificial flour crisis across the country to make billions of rupees and the government failed to control the crisis. He contends that flour was smuggled out of the country in the past six months.

The plea moved the court to constitute a joint-investigation team to investigate the crisis and seek details of flour smuggled out of the country.

Several questions pertaining to this, including whether there is a wheat crisis in the province and whether the wheat was smuggled out were put before the SFA secretary, remarked Justice Mazhar.

The court inquired as to what measures were being taken by the federal government to control the wheat crisis. Besides, the bench asked whether wheat was available in Sindh.

The court issued notices to the federal government seeking their reply and summoned the SFA secretary in personal capacity at the next hearing.

Also read: Nasir highlights Karachi Zoo’s importance for research

Bail denied

Separately, a bench led by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh and comprising Justice Umar Sial rejected the bail plea of a man accused of swindling citizens by impersonating a National Accountability Bureau official.

The defence counsel informed the court that his client, Shehzad Yousuf, has been imprisoned for two and a half years. He moved the court to grant bail to Yousuf and order his release.

On the other hand, the NAB prosecutor maintained that the accused had been defrauding people by pretending to be by an official of the anti-graft watchdog. Yousuf defamed a major institution of the country, argued the prosecutor.

Following the completion of arguments, the court rejected the accused's post-arrest bail plea.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2021.


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