The Madras High Court on Thursday warned Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) secretary S.K. Dutta of being imposed with costs if he does not explain by October 5 as to why the board withdrew a circular issued on August 6 for closure of all slaughter houses across the country during the Jain festival ‘Paryushan Parva’.
Justices Vineet Kothari and Krishnan Ramasamy recorded their displeasure over the counsel representing AWBI and Mr. Dutta seeking time repeatedly to comply with the order passed by the court on August 19. Granting them a final opportunity, the judges said such repeated adjournments amount to delaying the court proceedings.
It was while passing interim orders on a public interest litigation petition filed by the Madurai North Indian Welfare Association, represented by its president J. Hukamsingh, that the court found that AWBI had issued a circular to all States on August 6 for closure of slaughter houses but withdrew the instructions on August 11.
Surprised why the circular was withdrawn, the judges suo motu included AWBI and Mr. Dutta as respondents to the case and directed them to file an affidavit explaining the reasons for withdrawing the circular. They were also ordered to produce records to show who approved the withdrawal.