ISLAMABAD          -     The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday directed the authorities to complete the investigation into recent animal deaths at the Islamabad zoo.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing in a case related to implementation of the court’s verdict on shifting of all animals at the Marghazar zoo to suitable sanctuaries and directed the authorities to submit the report about deaths of animals by August 11.

The IHC bench also expressed annoyance at the authorities including the Ministry of Climate Change, Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) over the failure to protect the animals.

Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Naheed S Durrani appeared before the court.

During the hearing, Justice Athar remarked that the members of the Wildlife Management Board are responsible for the deaths of the animals. He added that the Minister of Climate Change and CDA chairperson are all on the board.

Justice Athar said that those who are responsible for the deaths of the animals are also the ones investigating the matter.

He added that the federal cabinet has appointed the advisor, special assistant, and the minister as board members.

The IHC CJ said that everyone is playing politics. Do not tarnish the name of the country in this way, remarked Justice Minallah. He further said that the entire world witnessed the cruelty met out to the animals there. 

Secretary Climate Change informed the court that the Gazette notification of the formation of the Wildlife Management Board had not been issued. 

Justice Athar said that the court had directed that the board be constituted and the federal cabinet gave its approval. He said that it is shameful to try to confuse the matter and directed her to identify all the board members and submit the report before the court.

The Deputy Attorney General informed the court that an FIR has been registered against unidentified individuals for the deaths of the animals. 

The court observed that it is easy to take credit but difficult to claim responsibility. It added that an FIR ought to be lodged against all members of the wildlife management board. 

Then the court directed to submit the report in the matter by August 11 and deferred the hearing till then.