Notices issued on plea about ‘alarming condition’ of animals at Karachi Zoo

Published February 11, 2021
The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the provincial and local authorities on a petition filed against functioning of Karachi Zoological Gardens. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File
The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the provincial and local authorities on a petition filed against functioning of Karachi Zoological Gardens. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the provincial and local authorities on a petition filed against functioning of Karachi Zoological Gardens.

The bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar also directed the senior director Karachi Zoo and wildlife conservator to be in attendance on March 10.

S. Yahya Ahmed and three others moved the SHC stating that the condition of animals being kept at the zoo was alarming and the lives of the creatures were at risk.

They argued that animals’ hygiene, food requirements and health conditions were severely neglected and they were being kept in very small cages and the condition of captivity at the zoo amounted to criminal treatment of living beings.

Impleading the provincial secretaries of the local government, forest and wildlife departments, Karachi administrator and senior director, Karachi Zoo as respondents, the petitioners submitted that the zoo did not qualify to be a zoological garden and condition of captivity of living species in the zoo manifested neglect and apathy.

Human resource director of PIA gets interim pre-arrest bail in illegal appointments case

They sought directions for the respondents to provide a list of all existing animals as well as those that died over the last decade, medical record of animals and details of all wholesale dealers providing food and medicinal supplies to the zoo.

They also requested for health assessment of all animals and to bring the zoological gardens under the jurisdiction of the wildlife department.

Safety measures at Keenjhar Lake

The same bench on Wednesday directed an official of Keenjhar Lake to file a final progress report regarding construction of a jetty and two watchtowers till March 11.

When the bench took up a petition seeking safety measures after drowning incidents in the lake, the officer in charge of the lake, Makhdoom Gulzar, submitted that in compliance with the court’s earlier orders, two watchtowers had been built while other two were under construction and 60 boats had been registered.

He further submitted that two jetties had been built and as far as the third jetty was cornered, there were some issue of encroachments and a meeting would be convened with deputy commissioner Thatta for early action.

He maintained that police had been deployed at the rescue centre and CCTV cameras also installed.

The bench observed that apart from one jetty and two watchtowers, the compliance of earlier orders had made.

On the last hearing, the district and sessions judge Thatta in his compliance report said that some positive efforts had been made for public safety with arrangement of better facilities for tourists at the lake, but some of the orders were yet to be complied with.

PIA official, two others get bail

The SHC on Wednesday confirmed the interim bail of Pakistan International Airlines’ human resources director and allowed post-arrest bail of two others in an illegal appointments case.

The Federal Investigation Agency had booked director-HR Rashid Ahmed and assistant manager (recruitment and placement) Fahad Ali for allegedly appointing Mohammad Zubair, Sher Iqbal and Mohammad Asif as senior technicians in 2015 on the basis of fake certificates and degrees.

The director was already on interim pre-arrest bail while Iqbal and Asif, through their counsel Muzaffar Solangi, Sagheer Abbasi and others, moved post-arrest bail applications.

After hearing both sides, the bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar confirmed the interim bail and granted post-arrest bail against a surety bond of Rs50,000 each.

The bench observed that both the petitioners seeking post-arrest bail were no more in service as their services had been terminated and it was the case of further inquiry.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2021

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