Penguins: Court asks CZA to be present at next hearing

The Asian Age.  | Shahab Ansari

Metros, Mumbai

The petitioners alleged the pool had developed cracks.

Bombay high court (Photo: PTI/File)

Mumbai: Bombay high court while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) opposing the exhibition of Humboldt penguins at Byculla zoo, on Friday directed the central zoo authority (CZA) to remain present in court on the next date of hearing. The court issued this direction when the petitioner informed that CZA had issued show cause notice to Byculla zoo for not complying with certain necessary conditions for renewing recognition of the zoo.

Petitioners Advocate Advait Sethna along with Ruju Thakkar argued before the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G.S. Kulkarni that as per seven-year-old data, these penguins were a threatened species and now, even more so, which is why the degree of care they required was much greater as compared to other animals and birds. The petitioners alleged the pool had developed cracks. They pointed out that CZA, an autonomous statutory body regulating all zoos, had issued show cause notice to Byculla zoo in September last year. Mr Sethna said recognition of the zoo needed to be renewed every year and CZA issued notice to the zoo because it did not comply with certain conditions stipulated by CZA.

Chief Justice Chellur asked the petitioner if anybody was present from CZA but nobody was present and hence, the court directed that some representative from CZA should remain present on the next date of hearing i.e. on March 31.

CZA issued show cause notice to Byculla zoo as it failed to fill up vacant posts of animal keepers and other staff including curator and biologist; did not submit the master plan for approval to CZA; lacked clean and hygienic food storage facilities and working platforms for vegetables and fruits; and failed to set up a full-fledged veterinary unit with all basic facilities and related infrastructure. CZA had granted six months to the zoo authorities to file their reply to the notice.

When contacted, Sanjay Tripathi, director of Byculla zoo, said that the reply to the show cause notice was sent in November itself. He also said that there were no cracks in the pool area or on the glass enclosure. He explained that rock work had been carried out by authorities where cement grouting, also called leak proofing, was done.

According to Mr Tripathi, this process had led to the formation of cracks which were perfectly normal.

Bombay high court while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) opposing the exhibition of Humboldt penguins at Byculla zoo, on Friday directed the central zoo authority (CZA) to remain present in court on the next date of hearing. The court issued this direction when the petitioner informed that CZA had issued show cause notice to Byculla zoo for not complying with certain necessary conditions for renewing recognition of the zoo.

Petitioners Advocate Advait Sethna along with Ruju Thakkar argued before the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G.S. Kulkarni that as per seven-year-old data, these penguins were a threatened species and now, even more so, which is why the degree of care they required was much greater as compared to other animals and birds. The petitioners alleged the pool had developed cracks. They pointed out that CZA, an autonomous statutory body regulating all zoos, had issued show cause notice to Byculla zoo in September last year. Mr Sethna said recognition of the zoo needed to be renewed every year and CZA issued notice to the zoo because it did not comply with certain conditions stipulated by CZA.

Chief Justice Chellur asked the petitioner if anybody was present from CZA but nobody was present and hence, the court directed that some representative from CZA should remain present on the next date of hearing i.e. on March 31.

CZA issued show cause notice to Byculla zoo as it failed to fill up vacant posts of animal keepers and other staff including curator and biologist; did not submit the master plan for approval to CZA; lacked clean and hygienic food storage facilities and working platforms for vegetables and fruits; and failed to set up a full-fledged veterinary unit with all basic facilities and related infrastructure. CZA had granted six months to the zoo authorities to file their reply to the notice.

When contacted, Sanjay Tripathi, director of Byculla zoo, said that the reply to the show cause notice was sent in November itself. He also said that there were no cracks in the pool area or on the glass enclosure. He explained that rock work had been carried out by authorities where cement grouting, also called leak proofing, was done.

According to Mr Tripathi, this process had led to the formation of cracks which were perfectly normal.