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Where did the goats go?

Maneka Gandhi may be in trouble. And over 291 missing goats. The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre owned by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Pilibhit has been pulled up by a city court, reports Sumit Saxena.

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2009 23:01 IST
Sumit Saxena

Maneka Gandhi may be in trouble. And over 291 missing goats.

The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre owned by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Pilibhit has been pulled up by a city court. The court has ordered a criminal case be registered against the SGACC in connection with mysterious disappearance of 291 goats sent in its custody.

The police had earlier seized the animals, which were being illegally transported in the city, and handed them over to the organization.

Slamming the SGACC officials the Metropolitan Magistrate Devender Kumar Jangala said, "The facts disclose commission of cognizable offence under section 406 IPC (criminal breach of trust) because the centre was entrusted with the custody of animals, and it appears that they have misappropriated the animals".

On March 19 2008 Delhi police officials had arrested Naseem, Babu, Usman and Akhtar for transporting 291 goats without proper care and in violation of Prevention of Cruelty Against Animal Act of Delhi police.

Thereafter the custody of the animals was handed over to the SGACC appointed by the Delhi government, for their safe custody.

But when the accused went to SGACC for release of animals, they were informed that all 291 goats have died. The accused approached the court stating the centre sold all the animals.

The court appointed Chairman of Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) to conduct an enquiry regarding the death of the animals in the custody of the centre.

The enquiry report said, "The veterinary doctor of SGACC said that at the time of admission all the animals were healthy but all of them fell sick by various diseases. The treatment register does not bear the signatures of any doctor".

The report also said “No receipt issued from the MCD regarding mortal remains of the animals was produced, as it is mandatory for SGACC to hand over the dead body of animals for disposal to the MCD”.

The enquiry officer also produced a 2007 court order stating; “a large number of complainants are being received by the owners of seized animals wherein the main grievance is that exact number of animals are not being handed over to them by SGACC on the ground that some animals have died”.

Counsel for SGACC termed the enquiry report "biased". "It is stated that the animals have expired due to various diseases, therefore, there is nothing adverse against SGACC".