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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Contempt plea against zoo for failing to ensure visitors’ safety

cities Updated: Oct 23, 2019 23:13 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka

New Delhi: A contempt plea has been filed in the Delhi high court, seeking action against the Delhi Zoo for its negligence and failure in complying with its own undertakings given to the court five years ago, when a man was killed inside a tiger enclosure.

In his petition, advocate Awadh Kaushik stated that he had moved the Delhi HC in 2014 when 20-year-old Maqsood, of Anand Parbat, was killed by tiger Vijay, after he had somehow fallen in the courtyard on October 17, 2014. He had then sought directions, seeking a report on the incident while fixing the responsibility of the person concerned.

During the pendency of the earlier petition, the zoo authorities had told the court that it had taken steps to ensure the safety of visitors to avoid such incidents in the future.

Quoting an HT report published on October 18 — how a 25-year old mentally unsound person had a close shave when he had fallen in the zoo enclosure — it was contended in the plea that the zoo officials have not learnt from their earlier mistakes. It said that they continue with their negligence and inadequate arrangements.

The contempt plea stated that it is evident from the video clippings on social media that the lion not only remained close to the intruder for many minutes, but also tried to climb on him and attack him. It also stated that another person had tried to enter an enclosure in the same zoo on September 5, but fortunately survived unhurt.

“….the question is as to why the authorities concerned have failed to take preventive measures and to ensure that no one can intrude, enter or jump into the enclosures of the wild animals in zoo,” the plea said.

“That these repeated incidents clearly show that the zoo authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of the visitors are not only negligent in their duty but are also bent upon to breach their own undertakings given before the court,” the plea added.

It contended that the zoo authorities are “deliberately” and “wilfully” “breaching and flouting” the statements given to the court in the various affidavits filed in the first bout of litigation.

The matter is likely to be heard on Thursday.