Intervention in a PIL filed by H.D.Shourie and connects the issue of misuse of rural areas and farm houses, WP (c) 3791/2000 (common cause v/s mcd & ors), high-profile pil about stray cattle, continuing for monitoring of compliance of directions given in 2002
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
CM NO. _______OF 2005
WP (C) NO. 3791 OF 2000
IN THE MATTER OF:
Common Cause ...Petitioners
MCD & Ors ...Respondents
IN THE MATTER OF:
________________...Applicant / Intervener
APPLICATION ON BEHALF OF THE APPLICANT/ INTERVENER UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA READ WITH SECTION 151 CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE IN THE ABOVE MENTIONED WRIT PETITION
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:
- That the Applicant / Intervener is a registered organisation engaged in public-spirited activities, profile of which is annexed herewith as ANNEXURE-I-1, and has been following media reports of the instant matter and is filing this application to bring to the attention of this Hon’ble Court events pursuant to the latest Order therein, as reported in press during 05/08/2005 and 09/08/2005, and issues arising therefrom and begging consideration of this Hon’ble Court.
- That typed copies of afore-said press reports are annexed herewith as ANNEXURE-I-2 (Colly) and their content is outlined herein below:
- (a) Reports of 05/08/2005, while at times mentioning that this Hon’ble Court had given several directions, dwelled on the direction for reward of Rs 2000/- for catching a stray cow.
- (b) Reports of 06/08/2005 dwelled on citizens bringing bulls, cows and calves to cattle pound to claim cash.
- (c) On 07/08/2005 a news-report mentioned rough handling of cattle and anxiety and confusion among MCD staff.
- (d) On 08/08/2005 a report had an MCD officer saying, “Forget stray cattle menace… with the public becoming the menace on the roads” and Commissioner saying MCD “might file a review petition or challenge the judgement”.
- (e) On 09/08/2005 a report about a lady injured by a cow under chase had her husband “thinking of filing a case against concerned authorities” and brother saying “It’s because they are unable to do their work that such orders are passed”.
- That the combination of mercenary enthusiasm unleashed by media reports and failure of authorities to take steps for problem-free implementation of this Hon’ble Court’s suggestion of involving citizens is heightening the very problems that this Hon’ble Court has repeatedly expressed concern about in prior orders in the instant proceedings, true typed copies of which, as available on internet, are annexed herewith and marked as ANNEXURE-I-3 (Colly).
- That reported injury to a lady by a chased cow illustrates risk to safety, central concern in this Hon’ble Court’s orders of, for instance, 07/07/2005 (“learned advocates… pointed out that even today there is the menace of stray cattle in these areas and they find it very difficult to pass safely”), 28/04/2005 (“no actions have been taken in the matter so as to say that the citizen residing in Delhi are free to move any where they like without any danger from stray cattle”) and 12/05/2005 (“Delhi is not safe” and “citizens are not free to move safely”) as well as its suo-motto cognisance of an incident of a bull attacking citizens in WP (C) 2621/2005, Orders passed in which are annexed herewith as ANNEXURE-I-4 (Colly).
- That the reported rough handling of cows by untrained catchers is contrary to the direction of this Hon’ble Court in Order of 12/05/2005 in the instant matter (“So far as trained persons are concerned, the Corporation should not depend upon the staff which is available in the Corporation only. …it is time for the Corporation to have the services of the outsiders on payment basis”) and not contemplated in statutory provisions indicated in the said order. True copies of some reports with photographs of seizures by untrained catchers are annexed herewith and marked ANNEXURE-I-5 (Colly).
- That, unlike prior Orders making officers accountable for safety of citizens by proper removal of stray cattle – such as of 12/05/2005 in the instant matter (“Deputy Commissioner of each Zone should be held responsible personally on account of death or injury to any person …on account of straying cattle”) and of 26/05/2005 in WP (C) 2621/2005 (“the Deputy Commissioner and the Zonal Veterinary Officer… will pay Rs.10,000/- each”) – the reported direction for recovery of reward money from them till auction requires them to, in effect, pay for unsafe untrained removal and encourages them to seek and support cow-auctions, contrary to convention.
- That cow-auctions in particular and, in general, projection in media of cows as nuisance at par with other animals (even as Delhi Municipal Corporation Act sets out specific provisions for swine in section-397(5) and dogs in section-399 under Chapter XIX, ‘Public Safety and Suppression of nuisances’, but not for cows) and, now, as commodity to encash – including through cartoons, such as ones reproduced herewith in ANNEXURE-I-6 – is unmindful of religious sentiment and, thereby, cause of discomfort to the secular-minded, all the more so due to apprehensions about the fate of impounded cows – a concern expressed in Orders passed by this Hon’ble Court on 04/08/2004 (“Shocking figures are given in Annexure R1 about the death of cattle in Gausadans. From December 2002 to June 2004 it is reported that 18,587 cattle died in gausadans. It is also reported that 22,982 cattle came to be deported”) and 28/04/2005 (“Learned counsel for MCD states that large number of cattle and bulls numbering 24,000 have been given to gaon sadan and the death rate there is about 53 cattle per day, which is not possible”).
- That auctions, furthermore, are contemplated in s.418 of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act only for recovery of “cost of seizure of these animals or birds and of impounding or removing them and of feeding and watering them”, with explicit proviso that “anyone claiming such animal or bird may, within seven days of the seizure get them released on his paying all expenses incurred …and on his producing a licence for keeping these animals and birds issued under the provisions of section 417”. It is pertinent that the proviso preventing unfettered auctioning of animals by MCD is predicated upon MCD issuing licenses after ensuring lawful options under obligations cast upon it by following statutory provisions:
- i. Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, stipulates: “43. Discretionary functions of the Corporation ... (m) the construction and maintenance of cattle pounds; ... (t) the organisation and management of farms and dairies within or without Delhi for the supply, distribution and processing of milk and milk products for the benefit of the residents of Delhi;”
- ii. Delhi Master Plan provides for land for these by stipulating in Development Code ‘Agriculture and Water Body’ (including Plant Nursery, Green Belt, Rural Zone, River and Water Body) as one of 9 use-zone categories and by including Dairy Farm, Poultry Farm, Piggery and Farm House in the 136 Use Premises / activities that may be earmarked in detailed plans plans, in making of which participation of MCD is required.
- iii. Apropos agricultural / rural area in Delhi – where dairies and gau-sadans can be developed according to Plan, also to maintain essential green – development responsibilities vest primarily in MCD under both the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act (inter alia, s.507, ‘Special Provisions as to rural areas’ and s.39, ‘Rural Areas Committee and Education Committee’) and the Delhi Development Act (with s.12 barring development without MCD permission in rural area not declared development area without view of MCD and s.30 and 31 vesting in MCD penal powers against misuse in it).
- That for several years MCD has not discharged above-mentioned statutory responsibilities, as evident from prior orders such as of 08/09/2004, in which this Hon’ble Court noted for gau-sadans: “A list of six gaushalas/gausadans have been indicated… However, neither the area nor capacity of each gausadan is indicated. ...From December 2002 to June 2004 … 22,982 cattle came to be deported by MCD to gausadans. As on 30th June 2004 there are 8548 cattle in different gausadans”; and of 08/09/2004, in which it recorded apropos dairies: “In all, there are 8 dairy colonies having a total of 9,228 plots in Delhi. As per the survey conducted by MCD in July, 1997” and “affidavit filed by the Corporation on 15th April, 2004, inter alia, pointed out that there are 7 dairy colonies wherein 9047 plots are made available, out of which 6077 plots have been alloted”.
- That, in face of above-mentioned failure to create options for keeping cows, exercise of powers under s.418 to auction them is tantamount to subverting the proviso thereto to profit from the said failure, which is directly connected to misuse of Rural Area, including by way of commercial misuse of farm houses – which MCD is duty-bound to penalise under Delhi Development Act and which involves nuisances governed, like stray cattle, by section-397 of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act – that MCD has been unlawfully allowing against payment of so-called misuse-fee, against which this Hon’ble Court has passed orders on 10/11/2004 and 07/07/2005 in WP (C) 14261/2004, typed copies of which, as available on internet, are annexed herewith and marked as ANNEXURE-I-7 (Colly).
- That authorities are now reportedly undertaking an ad-hoc project for development of a few dairy plots that is wholly inadequate in terms of the statutory solution for cattle and will serve only to sweep under the carpet the failures – to develop adequate space for cattle according to Plan and to check misuse of the same in violation of Plan – that lie at the root of various constraints and complexities standing in the way of solving the problem of stray cattle in Delhi, being heightened by the afore-said developments.
In view of the foregoing, the Applicant prays for permission to intervene in this matter and make submissions at the time of arguments.
Annexure-I-1: Profile of organisation and its activities
Annexure-I-2 (Colly): Typed true copies of news reports
- (a) ‘Court orders cash for catching stray cattle’, Hindu, 05/08/05
- (b) ‘Get Rs 2,000 for a stray cow’, Express Newsline, 05/08/05
- (c) ‘Catch a stray cow and get Rs 2,000’, Asian Age, 05/08/05
- (d) ‘Holy Cow! Catch one, earn Rs 2,000’, Pioneer, 05/08/05 1
- (e) ‘
Cowboyson scooters create chaos, all for Rs 2,000 reward’, Times of India, 06/08/05
- (f) ‘Day after HC’s cash-for-cow order, it’s a stampede at MCD gaushala’, Express Newsline, 06/08/05
- (g) ‘MCD on cash cows: Get RWA certificate’, ToI, 07/08/05
- (h) ‘Citizens milk cash-cow, MCD going bust’, Pioneer, 08/08/05
- (i) ‘Bull-ied cow injures woman in S Delhi’, ToI, 09/08/05
Annexure-I-3 (Colly): Typed true copies of Orders passed by this Hon’ble Court in WP (C) 3791/2000, as available on internet
Annexure-I-4 (Colly): Typed true copies of Orders passed by this Hon’ble Court in WP (C) 2621/2005, as available on internet
Annexure-I-5 (Colly): True copies of news reports of 06/08/05 and 07/08/05 with photographs of seizures by untrained persons
Annexure-I-6: Cartoons featured in news report og 05/08/05 and 08/08/05
Annexure-I-7 (Colly): Typed true copies of Orders passed by this Hon’ble Court in WP (C) 14261/2004, as available on internet
- 1. [mpisgmedia] "Holy cow! Catch one, earn Rs.2,000"
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