IHC to Launch Proceedings Against Officials over Lions’ Deaths

IHC intends to launch proceedings against Minister Zartaj Gul Wazir, SAPM Malik Amin Aslam, Secretary Climate Change with IWMB over the deaths of the lions.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) has announced that they intend to launch proceedings against Federal Minister of Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir, SAPM Malik Amin Aslam, the Secretary of Climate Change along with Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) over the deaths of the lions.

IHC Lion Death

According to the IHC, the above officials violated the court orders in regards to transferring the lions from Marghazar Zoo to a sanctuary. They added that they believe that the lions died due to being shifted to a private farmhouse instead of a proper sanctuary.

IHC was informed about relocation of the lions to a farmhouse in Lahore, and watched a footage which showed the negligence and the carelessness of the officials involved, which led to the death of the lions.

“This court had directed relocation of the caged animals to sanctuaries and not to the private farmhouse,” IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked.

“This court intends to proceed against the chairman and each member of the IWMB under the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003.”

IHC Lion Death

In pursuance to the May 21 court order, which directed the government to release the detained animals to sanctuaries, a board had been notified by the IHC. This board included senior officials like the minister, special assistant, secretary climate change, the CDA chairman, the chief metropolitan officer Islamabad, inspector general forest and wildlife, secretaries forest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

As per the court orders, the “members mentioned in the notification of March 16, 2020, were made jointly and severally liable in case of harm caused to the animals during their relocation.

“This was in view of apathy on part of the officials who appeared interested in taking control of the management of Marghazar Zoo rather than accepting responsibility for the welfare and protection of endangered species kept in deplorable conditions,” the court order said.

“Moreover, the climate change ministry is responsible on behalf of the federal government to ensure compliance with the ratified international conventions.”

IHC Lion Death

IHC has directed both the chairperson of IWMB and the secretary for climate change to appear in person, and adjourned the hearing on August 4.


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