New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to file a "composite affidavit" stating number of licenced slaughter houses in the country.
It also sought to know about the progress made in the slaughter houses' modernisation coupled with the elimination of cruelty towards the animals brought for slaughtering.
As the apex court social justice bench comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit sought a "composite affidavit" giving it the situation of the slaughter houses in their entirety, the court appointed the Ministry for Urban Development to co-ordinate with different ministers dealing with different aspects of the slaughterhouses.
The court said that response would include "number of recognised slaughterhouses in the country, progress made in the modernisation of slaughterhouse, enforcing of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act and the number of prosecution latched against the violators".
The apex court appointed the Ministry of Urban Development as nodal ministry to co-ordinate with other ministries so that picture of slaughterhouses could be placed before it in its totality as it found different ministries represented by various counsel either speaking in different voices or passing the buck to the other ministry.
Finding the situation exasperating, the court found that affidavit by the ministry of urban development washing off its hand from the issue and putting the onus on the other ministries.
"If there is a conflict of stand in these ministries, I don't know who will resolve the issue", observed Justice Lokur, as Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand intervened to salvage the situation by seeking time to address the concern of the court on the next hearing of the matter slated for October 9.
Referring to the exercises undertaken in pursuance to the court's directions of August 23, 2012 and August 27, 2013, the court said "half of the country does not listen to what you say. Nobody is bothered to listen to you".
Referring to the letters sent to the Centre by the state governments on the setting up of the committees for the purpose of supervising and monitoring the implementation of the directions of the court, given in its August 23, 2012 and August 27, 2013 orders.
Describing the replies sent by the States as "casual", the court said the letter dories not say what ids the composition of State committees, number of vacancies forms of the committees and when their term will expire.
"This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. You find out from them. Casual affidavit. Casual meetings. One does not know how much money was spent on these meetings", the court said, expressing its displeasure the serious matter was being dealt with by the Centre and the state government.
The apex court by its August 23, 2012, order had highlighted the "extreme necessity" of constituting State Committees for the purpose of supervising and monitoring the implementation of the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Establishment and Registration of Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Rules, 2000, the Environment Protection Act, 1986, the Solid Waste (Management and 1 Handling) Rules, 2000, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2000 etc.
By its August 27, 2013, the court had directed the Committees to implement the broad framework prepared by the MoEF and to file an Action Taken Report. Few Committees have filed their Action Taken Reports.